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Inspection & Certification of a Fall Arrest System Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Inspection & Certification of a Fall Arrest System

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Regular inspection and certif­ication of height safety systems and PPE is not only a legal requir­ement but is essential. The primary role of a fall arrest system is to save your life in the event of a fall.

In height safety, we measure force in kilo newtons or kN. The average person falling 2m can produce over 1.5 tonne or 15kN of force. Therefore the forces exerted onto a system in the event of a fall can be extreme. The force generated during a fall is distri­buted through the fall arrest system as well as the person’s body. Forces this high will cause serious injury and have even been known to cause death.

Personal Fall Arrest System

Main Parts of a Personal Arrest System

There are three main parts to a fall arrest system:
1. The anchorage point
2. The connection – this is typically a rope or lanyard
3. The harness

Inspect and Certif­ication

To summarize, to inspect and certify a fall arrest system you must have:
Undergone training by the manufa­cturer
Sufficient experience within the industry
Current public liability and profes­sional indemnity insurance for height safety


Fall protection systems are also required to have:
System plan
Mainte­nance manual
User manual
Rescue plan

Personal Fall Arrest System


It is important to choose the right type of harness and attachment equipment for your fall protection equipment. All PPE must be inspected and certified by a competent person at least every 12 months.

Harsh Condition Usage

If PPE is used in harsh conditions and often becomes wet and dirty during use it is vital that they are properly cleaned and dried before being stored away. Failure to do this could cause the webbing to quickly deteri­orate and become unsafe.

Shock Absorber

It is a requir­ement that a shock absorber be used as part of the harness and attachment system. The shock absorber is designed to reduce the force of a fall. Each piece of PPE must have an inspection tag.

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