Explore the differences between fall prevention and fall protection and the differences between a fall restraint system and a fall arrest system.

Preventing death and injury due to falls is a major focus of regulatory agencies like OSHA and the entire construction industry as falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers. There are many facets to any efforts aimed at reducing falls and ensuing deaths and injuries, and it’s important to understand each piece of a fall elimination program in order to make it successful. Explore the differences between fall prevention and fall protection and the differences between a fall restraint system and a fall arrest system, and then start putting those concepts to use with fall protection products and accessories  from Safe Keeper and Safe Climber.

Fall Prevention vs Fall Protection

Fall prevention is any effort, policy, or action that prevents falls from happening. Fall prevention efforts include finding ways to do a job without working at heights, eliminating fall hazards, and using guardrails and other barriers to block off fall hazards, and using a lanyard that does not allow workers to get near fall hazards. The goal of fall prevention is to keep falls from happening in the first place!

Fall protection is using fall protection equipment to keep workers from being killed or injured when a fall does occur. Fall protection equipment worn by workers “arrests” the fall and keeps them from falling too far or being injured during the fall. Fall protection is aimed at keeping workers safe when falls do occur.

Fall Arrest Systems vs Fall Restraint Systems

Both fall arrest systems and fall restraint systems are forms of fall prevention or fall protection. Fall restraint systems, as a form of fall prevention, restrain workers from falling, such as through using a body harness and lanyard to keep workers from getting close to a fall hazard. Workers’ movements are obviously restricted by fall restraint systems.

Fall arrest systems, as part of fall protection, keep workers from falling very far or from swinging into structures when a fall does occur. For instance, a personal harness, retractable line, and an anchorage system would arrest the fall of a worker, keeping him or her from hitting the ground or being smashed into the side of a building during a fall.

Safe Keeper and Safe Climber offers a line of fall protection products and accessories and safety ladder systems to keep workers safe during a fall.