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

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2022 | Workplace Accidents

If you work in an industry where you have to be at heights a lot, such as if you’re a roofer, you know that falls are one of the biggest risks that you face. Most workplace injuries and fatalities come from falls. A lot of these falls are small, such as a trip and fall on the same level or a fall off of a stepladder. But others are very significant, such as a fall from a roof that leads to severe injuries.

There are two different ways to prevent these injuries from happening, as discussed below.

A fall arrest system

If you use a fall-arrest system, it is set up to keep you from striking a lower level after you fall. There is the risk that you could still fall, but the system should prevent serious injuries. You could still suffer minor injuries, of course, but it prevents things from escalating. A simple system could be a rope rigged up on the roof and attached to a harness.

A fall prevention system

When you use a fall prevention system, the goal is not to stop someone who is falling, but to keep them from falling in the first place. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is simply some type of fencing that blocks the dangerous edge. With fall prevention, the goal is to decrease the odds that a worker will ever be involved in a fall and thus prevent the injuries in that fashion.

Which system is better?

The type of system that is best depends entirely on the circumstances of the job. It’s also important to know that no system is perfect and you could still be injured, so you may need to know how to seek financial compensation