HEIGHT SAFETY FALL ARRESTORS
There are two main types of personal fall arrestors on the market. Also known as retractable lanyards they can be split between above waist height and below waist height. What many people don’t realise is that not all fall arrestors are the same. Some can only be used above the waist. This means that you can only have them attach to an anchorage point that is situated above your waist height. This is to limit them distance you can fall and therefore limit the amount of force you can apply back through the fall arrestor. The other type can be mounted below waist height, even at foot level. Sometimes these can be referred to as 360°. It means that you can connect to an anchorage point that is at the same height as your feet. This of course means that if you fall, you may fall the full 2m from the platform or walkway height before the fall arrestor stops you. This is not the ideal situation, however if you have no other points that you can connect to one of the 360° units can provide you fall arrest protection. Of course ideally you want to always attach above your head where possible so that you limit the distance that you could fall.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU NEED TO INSPECT A FALL ARRESTOR?
All fall arrestors must be inspected and certified every 6 months. Some of these only require a visual inspection and hand test where the retractable line is pulled out and locked off at various lengths to ensure that it is functioning correctly. This type of fall arrestor usually has a service life of 5 years before they have to be destroyed. Others require a yearly mechanical inspection where the unit is pulled apart. It is important that you understand what type of service your fall arrestor requires. If your fall arrestor is used in corrosive environments or is exposed to excessive dirt, dust, sun, heat or moisture, we recommend that it needs to be inspected more regularly.
OVERHEAD FALL ARRESTOR OR FALL ARREST BLOCK
A fall arrest block is the general term for a fall arrestor that is used as part of an overhead cable or rail system. Overhead fall arrestors come in lengths from 6m up to 20m and are normally attached to a travelling device on the fall arrest system. They are primarily used in large sheds where workers need the freedom to move around such as building demount-able units, buses or trucks. They allow the worker to move along in a straight line directly under the fall arrest system and then out to the sides up to 30°. Overhead fall arrestors lock off within 300mm. This limits the force that can be exerted back through the worker which will limit the potential for severe injury. These blocks have an inspection requirement that is dependent upon the condition they are being used in and how often they are being used. Some require a visual and hand pull test every 6 months with a full mechanical inspection between every 12 months up to 5 years. We recommend that you keep an hours register for your reel so you can keep track of how much it is being used. From this you can determine how often your fall arrestor should have its mechanical service.
For more information on our range of fall arrestors please contact us at any time.