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Methods and Types of Fall Protection Systems

There are two basic methods for fall protection.

  • Passive fall protection
  • Active fall protection

Passive fall protection systems are designed to prevent falls. They include guardrails, hole covers, and barricades. Guardrails are used on unprotected edges such as holes or ramps. Hole covers prevent workers or equipment from falling through floor openings. Barricades are used to block off areas with fall hazards, and can be either soft or hard barricades.

Common examples of soft barricades are caution or danger tape. Hard barricades are similar to guardrails and provide a physical barrier around a fall hazard. Soft barricades must never be used alone. They are always used with hard barricades so that they are more visible.

Active fall protection systems are designed to arrest a fall in progress, not to prevent falls. They are used when passive systems are unavailable or do not provide adequate protection. Active fall protection must also prevent contact with a lower level during a fall, and must limit the impact, or arresting force, on the body.

See our Fall Protection Safety Video

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