Fall Protection

Fall Protection for Temporary & Permanent Work Areas

As outlined in the AHRE Occupational Health and Safety Code; Part 9 Fall Protection; 139 (1) An employer must ensure that workers use a fall protection system at a temporary or permanent work area if

  1. A worker may fall 3 meters or more
  2. There is an unusual possibility of injury if a worker falls less than 3 meters.

Employers must develop a fall protection plan specifying

  1. The fall hazards at the work site
  2. The fall protection system to be used a the work site
  3. The procedures used to assemble, maintain, inspect, use and disassemble the fall protection system
  4. The rescue procedures to be used if a worker falls, is suspended by a personal fall arrest system or safety net and needs to be rescued

Full Body Harness Systems

Full body harness systems are to be used to provide workers working at heights above ground level with freedom of movement and protection from falls. These devices will arrest a fall and absorb some of the shock of the fall. The systems are usually worn around the body and attached to a lanyard, fall arresting device or rope grab. Better quality systems usually have some form of shock absorber in the system.


A lifeline should never be used as a service line. The only time a lifeline becomes a load bearing line is in the event of a fall. At all other times it should be just slack enough to permit free movement on the service lines.

It is very important to get quality advice in the selection, purchase and maintenance of your fall arresting equipment. Please refer to the following CSA and ANSI Standards when selecting equipment;

145 (1) Harnesses: CAN/CSA-Z259.10-M90 (R1998), Full Body Harnesses
(3) Lanyards: CAN/CSA-Z259.1-95 (R1999)

Safety Belts and Lanyards
(4) Shock Absorbers: CAN/CSA-Z259.11-M92 (R1998)

Shock Absorbers for Personal Fall-Arrest Systems
(5) Connecting Components: CAN/CSA-Z259.12-01

Connecting Components for Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS)

Fall Protection Systems: Best Practices
Do Don't
  • Obtain expert advice before purchasing a fall arresting device
  • Properly train and practice with the system you decide to use
  • Use webbing type harnesses instead of leather harnesses
  • Use only the manufacturer's components for replacement parts
  • Inspect carefully before each use (inspection to be performed by a trained worker)
  • Have the harness fitted snugly to the worker using the system
  • Ensure that the anchor points are secure and able to support the load In the event of a fall
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions on care and use
  • Ensure all lines used with the systems have thimbles
  • Use only the proper safety rated fastenings with the system
  • Use a full body harness with shock absorber whenever possible
  • Modify, change or put additional holes in the harness or hardware
  • Jerry-rig the system
  • Use the system for any other than its intended use