Horizontal Fall Arrest Systems: Rigid Systems vs. Flexible Line Systems

In the September 2004 issue of 'Occupational Health & Safety' an article on
horizontal fall arrest systems has been published.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of available fall protection systems and
temporary anchors that end users can buy, install, and use when and where they
are required. But: If the system is not user friendly, it will not be used and
will be a detriment to the company's overall fall protection program.

There are many types of flexible and rigid systems on the market, both
permanent and temporary. The article does not mean to encompass all possible
systems or hazards and only intends to give an outline of what at a minimum
should be examined to make an educated purchasing decision.

In many instances, the buyer will use the same type of horizontal system for
all situations. This is a good idea in some cases because it will reduce the
need for training on a number of different systems, reduce system compatibility
issues, and may reduce costs for installation, supply, and maintenance.. This
may not be the best idea if the hazard areas differ a great deal; as
illustrated in the article, one system may not function for all areas and

The rigid system is typically the best solution simply based on the fact the
worker won't fall as far as when he is connected to a flexible system, because
of the elimination of any dynamic sag and horizontal energy absorber
deployment. In any case, where you stop the worker from falling farther, you
decrease the chance there may be an incident where the worker is injured. From
a cost standpoint, flexible fall arrest systems typically are cheapest. In the
end, safety professionals must balance the cost and effectiveness of the system
to prevent an injury.

Further Information

AplusA-online.de - Source: Stevenspublishing