Fall Protection involves the design of various systems to keep people safe while working at-height. It is broken up into Fall Restraint (these systems do not allow users to fall) and Fall Arrest (these systems safely stop a person who’s already fallen). Think of Fall Restraint as a rope that will prevent a rock climber from reaching the cliff edge and Fall Arrest as a rope that will stop a person from falling after they’ve jumped off the cliff (Kids, please don’t try this at home).
- Guardrails fall under Fall Restraint systems because they prevent individuals from reaching a free edge.
- Systems are typically designed for a person plus gear to weigh 310 lbs.
- Lanyard and wire stretch is taken into account when determining impact forces into a system.
- Engineers are allowed to design to a lower impact load than the general 5,000 lb OSHA load as long as the system is backed up by MATH.