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Fall prevention systems vs. fall arrest systems: What’s the difference?

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2021 | Workplace Injuries |

If you work at heights, you face extra risks on the job. Now, “heights” can mean a lot of different things, depending on the context. It could be as simple as using a lift in a warehouse or as complex as working on a high-rise construction project. Many workers just spend time on ladders, rooftops or scaffold systems. 

No matter where you work, there are two different types of anti-fall systems that you may use to keep you safe. Let’s look at how they differ. 

A fall prevention system

The goal of a fall prevention system is to simply make it impossible for the worker to fall. This could mean using a rope and harness that physically cannot reach the edge of a roof. It could mean putting up guardrails along dangerous edges. Ideally, workers don’t have to worry about getting injured because, despite their height, they cannot fall. 

A fall arrest system

A fall arrest system should also relieve some of the workers’ worry, but it does allow them to fall. The system just catches that fall when it happens and prevents them from striking the ground. A worker on an exposed roof edge may wear a harness with a rope that will catch him or her if a slip occurs. The fall is possible, but injuries should be reduced. 

You can still get injured on the job

These systems should be used when working at sufficient heights, but falls remain one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, so it’s clear that they still occur. If you get injured in a fall on the job, you need to know how to seek workers’ compensation. If your workers’ comp claim doesn’t seem to be proceeding as it should, it may be time for some legal assistance. 

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