Last edited 09 Feb 2021

Fall arrest system

A personal fall arrest system (FAS) is a system designed to minimise injury if a worker should fall from a significant height and experience impact. The purpose of the system is not to stop the fall (that is the purpose of a fall restraint system or fall prevention system), but to limit the injuries that could happen to a worker as a result of the fall's impact.

Fall arrest systems can be permanently installed. They can be used during recurring height related tasks (such as window cleaning, gutter work or regularly scheduled maintenance).

This system is made up of components that may include a body harness, an anchor, a connector, a lanyard, a deceleration device and a lifeline.

These systems must be professionally installed and should be regularly inspected to ensure compliance with health and safety and CDM regulations (Construction Design and Management) regulations. These can be internal inspections carried out by the contractor, third party audits or external inspections by the Health and Safety Executive.

Fall arrest systems should be replaced when necessary. Training is required for proper usage.

Personal fall arrest systems are most commonly used in situations where a fall is possible and a collective restraint system or fall prevention system is not in place.

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