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Equipment and Other Components of an Active Fall Protection System

Active fall protection systems are designed to arrest falls as soon as possible. They have four main components: an anchor point, a body harness, a deceleration device, and connectors.

The anchor point, also known as the tie-off point, is a secure point of attachment for a fall arrest system. Like all other system components, it must be able to support five thousand pounds per person attached. Common examples are structural support beams or integrated pad eyes.

The body harness is designed to distribute the arresting force of a fall, spreading the impact evenly over the chest, thighs, waist, pelvis, and shoulders. Wearing a body harness correctly is critical. Workers must never exceed the weight rating of a harness, and should always consider the weight of tools and equipment. Body harnesses are the only acceptable body equipment for use in a personal fall arrest system, or PFAS.

The deceleration device helps arrest a fall and limits the arresting force put on the worker. Lanyards are a common example, which connect a harness to an anchor point. Another common deceleration device is a self-retracting lifeline, commonly referred to as an SLR, or "yo-yo."

The connectors attach the components of a fall arrest system together. When donning fall protection, workers must always be certain that the connectors are compatible with the other components of the system. Any connectors used for fall protection must be double-locking.

See our Fall Protection Safety Video

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