Found in: The Korridor


Common Mistakes When Using Fall Protection Systems

A Fall Protection System is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment a person can use when working at heights. Unfortunately, improper usage is very commonplace.  Incorrect use is no more effective than working without protection.  In order to guarantee safety, workers must ensure they follow the design developed by the engineer. For this, proper training is essential.

Regrettably, the most common misuse of a fall protection system is due to the lack of proper training. A professional fall protection company will provide complete training on the use and care of the system as designed by the engineer.  This will eliminate the majority of misuses. The instructor should detail how to wear the equipment, attach it to the lifeline,  navigate the system from beginning-to-end, and how to properly assess damage.

Another common mistake is system overload. The majority of fall protection is designed to allow multiple workers anywhere along the length of the lifeline supporting an exact number of personnel.  Too many individuals using the lifeline will cause an overload, which may result in system failure that can lead to serious injury or death.

A further error made by employees is using the incorrect personal protective equipment.  All engineered fall protection systems are designed to be used with specific PPE including self-retracting lifelines, full body harnesses, and shock absorbing lanyards. For example, there are two types of rooftop fall protection systems: fall arrest and travel restraint. If a system has been designed as travel restraint the engineer has intended a specific lanyard length.  If the worker uses a lanyard length that is greater than what has been specified, they risk putting themselves in a scenario, different from the intended design. This could cause a system failure and significant injury.

Lastly, a fall protection system must be inspected regularly. The inspector should be authorized by the designer.  Each type of system has its own unique components. Only a trained individual can determine if the system is in good working condition that will maintain its integrity until the next scheduled inspection.  Missing inspections could cause damage to go unnoticed, putting workers at risk for serious personal injury.

This information is not intended to be a complete list of all potential fall protection system errors or misuses.  To learn more about Unistrut Fall Protection and our services for fall protection engineering and installation, visit