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October 5, 2020
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The ABCs of Personal Fall Arrest

A personal fall arrest system consists of the following components:

  • Anchorage/Anchorage Connector
  • Body Wear
  • Connecting Devices

Anchorage means a secure point of attachment for equipment such as lifelines, lanyards, and self-retracting lifelines (SRL).

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that anchors used for fall arrest are:

  • Capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per employee attached.
  • Designed, installed, and used under the supervision of a qualified person, as part of a complete personal fall protection system that maintains a safety factor of at least two.

An anchorage connector is a component, such as a web tie-off adapter, used to join the connecting devices to the anchorage.


Body wear is the protective equipment worn for personal fall arrest.

If an employee were to experience a fall, the body harness would distribute the fall arrest forces over the:

  • Thighs
  • Pelvis
  • Waist
  • Chest
  • Shoulders

Connecting devices, also known as connectors, are used to connect the parts of a fall protection system.

Connectors, such as energy-absorbing lanyards, are commonly used for fall arrest.

These lanyards:

  • Reduce the amount of energy transmitted to a worker’s body in the event of a fall.
  • May provide deceleration distance during a fall reducing the fall arresting forces on the body.
  • Allow for up to 6 feet of free-fall distance, which is the distance a worker’s body falls before activating.
  • Must be attached to the dorsal D-ring on the back of the worker’s body harness.

Source: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Gates Mills, OH:, and content creation expert for Safety Made Simple, Inc., Olathe, KS;



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Safety Tip of the Week is edited by Managing Editor Tucker Scharfenberg and published each Monday by Grain Journal, Decatur, IL

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