EN 353-1 Guided type fall arresters including a rigid anchor line

EN 353-2 Guided type fall arresters including a flexible anchor line

EN 354 Lanyards
EN 355 Energy absorbers
EN 358 Belts for work positioning and restraint work positioning lanyards

EN 360 Retractable type fall arresters

EN 361 Full body harnesses
EN 362 Connectors
EN 363 Personal fall protection systems
EN 795-A1 Anchor devices. Anchor points placed on vertical, horizontal or inclined surfaces (devices of this class are not personal protective equipment (PPE)).

EN 795-A2 Anchor devices. Anchor points placed on inclined walls (devices of this class are not personal protective equipment (PPE)).
EN 795-B Anchor devices. Anchor devices with anchor point(s) without the need to fix them into the structure (temporary, transportable anchor devices).
EN 795-C Anchor devices. Anchor device with a flexible anchor line which deviates from the horizontal by not more than 15° (devices of this class are not personal protective equipment (PPE)).

EN 795-D Anchor devices. Anchor device with a rigid anchor line which deviates from the horizontal by not more than 15° (devices of this class are not personal protective equipment (PPE)).

EN 813 Sit harnesses. Harnesses with waist belt to be used in restraint, work positioning and rope access systems, with a low point of attachment.

EN 1496 Rescue equipment - rescue lifting devices
EN 1497 Rescue harnesses

Work at height may expose workers to high risk due to a potential fall or other serious accidents. Accidents related to work at height constitute to a large part of all accidents during work - particularly fatal accidents.

Annually in Poland there are about 5000 accidents resulting from fall from the height, in which 150 people suffer death or serious injuries

(source: Główny Urząd Statystyczny - dane 2005r.)


Polish and European labor law demand that employers to provide all proper fall protection equipment for all their employees who are working at height
If it is only possible, work should be organized in a way that all employees are not exposed to fall from height. However, if threat of fall cannot be totally eliminated, the most proper protection method and necessary protection equipment should be chosen to secure the work. The rules say that the collective protection measures (balustrade, safety nets) should be used first. If using of collective protection measures is not proper one should use personal fall protection equipment.
Proper selection of equipment should take into consideration the character of the work.
Selection and usage of proper fall protection equipment should include specialist training and medical examination. What is more the employer is obliged to specific organization of work at height and to supervise the work and the safety rules during the work.

Personal fall protection equipment has to be periodically controlled by qualified personnel. The periodic control does not discharge the users from control of equipment before each use.

As a personal protection equipment (PPE), all fall protection devices have to fulfill the requirements of European norms (EN). All fall protection products should be properly marked with CE marking and number of corresponding European norm.




Choice of proper protection method is essential for workers safety during work at height.

When due to some reasons (technical / economical / organizational) it is impossible to put permanent construction to secure fall from height threat one should take collective protections measures like safety nets or balustrades. Solution which is widely use are scaffoldings, lifts and movable platforms - all of those assure safety and comfortable work.


However if none of the above methods is possible to use, individual fall protection equipment should be used. The individual protection equipment can be used during work on different hazard surfaces, pillars, poles, masts, tower constructions and rope accesstechniques.

Basic functions which the individual fall protection equipment should fulfill:
1) work positioning and preventing the employee from taking a position that a possibility of fall exists, relevant to EN 358:2002 (Belts for work positioning and restraint work positioning);
2) in a case that a fall occurs - arresting the fall in the air and limiting the arrest force, enabling the victim of the fall for safe anticipation for rescue, relevant to EN 363:2005 (Personal fall protection equipment. Personal fall protection systems).

Proper choice of methods of protection and appropriate fall protection equipment can be done only after proper training both of employees and management.



A fall arrest system should include three main components:

Anchor point
Anchor point is first and at the same time essential component of whole fall arrest system. It is a point in the work area that is responsible for connecting the permanent rigid construction with the connecting and energy absorbing parts of fall protection system. The requirements for the anchor point are given in EN 795. One can divide the anchor points into few categories – permanent anchor points (fixed to the construction - examples are permanent systems with anchor line), movable anchor points (not fixed to construction – examples are tripods,  adjustable anchor beams). Anchor points have to be connected with rigid construction which has proper strength and stability.

Energy absorbing and connecting components
Those are components of the system which link the anchor point with the attachment point in the harness. When a fall occurs those components have to stop the fall and at the same time limit the maximal force which occurs during breaking of the fall. The kinetic energy produced during the fall is absorber and the maximal force is limited to safe values (below 6kN). This eliminates the risk of suffering serious injuries during the fall. Products which can be used to meet those goals are for example: self-retracting fall arresters, energy absorbers with lanyards and other.

Safety harness
The basic task for the safety harness is to keep the human body during the fall and to distribute the forces which occur during stopping the fall. After arresting the fall next important point for the safety harness is keeping the body in a position that is safe and fairly comfortable during waiting for the help. The construction of the safety harness is strictly described in EN 361. All harnesses used as personal protection equipment against fall from height have to fulfill those requirements. Only full body harness with shoulder straps and leg straps can be considered as PPE. Usage of work positioning belts, waist belts or sit harnesses designed for sport applications is forbidden.
Well-designed full body harness should be ergonomic and offer comfort for the user. Depending on the type of harness there can be just one attachment point (usually dorsal) or there can be more attachment points to which connection can be done. Harness can additionally have a waist belt with attachment buckles for fork positioning. Number and location of attachment points influences the functionality of the harness. 

Application of fall arrest system is recommended to use only if there is no other method to guarantee safety for the workers. The main role of the fall arrest system is to safely stop the fall and limit the risk of injuries during fast deceleration. The fall arrest system does not prevent the fall.

To ensure sufficient safety level, during configuration of fall arrest system, one has to consider following aspects:
Minimal free space
Safe arresting of a fall has to be done in the air. If contact with the surface, ground or some construction components will occur during the fall the consequences are usually serious injuries or even death. To avoid such risk a free space below the user has to be granted. As a free space we describe space that is without any objects that can be hit by a falling person. To define the space needed one has to take into consideration the energy-absorber, connection components and the location of anchor point in respect to location of the person.

Location of anchor point
The fall distance should be always as short as possible. Location of the anchor point in respect to the location of the user has significant meaning for the fall distance. If the anchor point If the anchor point is placed over the user than the fall distance will be limited.  On the contrary if the anchor point is below the user the fall distance will be greatly extended what may lead to contact with surface which is below and can increase the forces during fall arrest.  In a situation where the user has a choice of anchor points he should chose the one which is placed as high as possible.

Pendulum effect
This is a dangerous situation in which during a fall the movement has a pendulum character. It may result in contact of the user with objects which are placed not directly below the user (considering the start of the fall) but located on sides. The pendulum effect is greatly increased with the movement of the user from the vertical line lead from the anchor point. The pendulum effect can lead to improper work of some components of fall arrest system – ex. self-retracting fall arresters. When choosing the anchor point one has to take into consideration to limit the pendulum effect

As the risk evaluation has to take into consideration parameters of the fall arrest system component sit is highly recommended to read all manuals, attached to the safety system components, before the use.




of 21 December 1989
on the approximation of the laws of the Member States
relating to personal protective equipment
(OJ L 399, 30.12.1989, p. 18)


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