Fall Prevention, Fall Arrest and Fall Restraint – What are they?
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When it comes down to it all; height safety is about stopping workers from being seriously injured due to a fall. However there are different aspects to making sure no one falls; with the two key areas, fall arrest and fall restraint that are used to achieve fall prevention.

While these key areas all appear to be very similar; they’re all different parts to the overall picture to stop people falling from heights while working.

What is a fall?

In the context of height safety; a fall is when someone falls from a higher level in an uncontrolled or rapid manner to a level or section below, usually over 2 metres,

Unfortunately in most instances where a fall occurs; the person who fell is likely to have suffered some form of injury. The severity of the injury can vary greatly; but some examples of what can occur (even from falls of small distances) are:

  • – Bone fractures/breaks and torn ligaments
  • – Spinal cord injuries
  • – Concussion or brain damage
  • – Internal bleeding

Fall Prevention

Fall prevention is the first step when it comes to ensuring that workers are unable to be hurt from a fall when working above ground level.
The idea around fall prevention is to put measures in place to stop a fall from even occurring (and therefore preventing the fall from happening) or if it does; minimise any potential damage to body or structure.

This is done by implementing a fall arrest system, fall restraint system or a hybrid of both for complete coverage.


Fall prevention solutions that are used to help with fall prevention include:

Guard Rails and Hand Rails
Roof Platforms
Roof Walkway systems

More in depth information about fall prevention and legal obligations is available from WorkSafe Victoria.

Fall Arrest

Fall arrest system is implemented to break a person who is already falling in a controlled and comfortable manner. They’re required when a worker is able to reach the edge or has the capability of penetrating the surface they’re working on due to it being made from a fragile substance.

The fall is stopped by the equipment and system absorbing the energy generated during the fall; otherwise without such a system in place the energy and force generated to arrest the fall will directly impact the person and the platform or structure below.  This is capable of causing injury in itself.

Height safety equipment that’s used to help with fall arrest are as follows:

Roof Anchor Points
Static Line System
Overhead Rail System

Fall Restraint

A fall restraint system is used to prevent a worker from accessing the potential hazard. This type of system is generally accepted as the best method to meet fall prevention requirements as it keeps workers away from the hazard completely.

Equipment that’s used to address fall restraint concerns includes:

Roof Anchor Points
Static Line System
Overhead Rail System

Need someone to assess, test or implement a compliant system for fall prevention purposes?

Essential Height Safety are Australia’s leading height safety Experts providing roof safety solutions, audit and certification services.   To ensure compliance to all Australian Standards, codes and legislation, Essential Height Safety will only use materials that are designed, engineered, certified and manufactured in Australia

We’ve built a team of highly skilled, accredited, certified installers that are all our own employees – you can rest assured we don’t sub-contract any of our work. This ensures not only is your building is up to height safety code, but your employees and contractors are assured safe roof access.

Accidents don’t have to happen. Keep your workers safe. Prevent Falls. Ensure Compliance

If you allow workers Roof Access to your building, you have a legal obligation to comply with all Australian Standards and regulations around Height Safety, Fall Prevention and Fall Arrest. To ensure the Height Safety of your workers and the legal compliance for your business, contact the trained and accredited experts today for an obligation free consultation.

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