Fall Protection Glossary

A

ABC's of Personal Fall Protection
The basic elements of any fall protection system are A for anchorage, B for body support and C for connectors.
Active Fall Protection System
A means of providing fall protection that requires employees to actively wear and use fall protection equipment, and which requires training.
Advanced Products
Capital Safety's product line, formerly Unique Concepts Limited (UCL), that offer unique solutions for both confined space and fall protection scenarios, including hoist systems, counterweight systems and mobile work platforms
Anchorage
A secure point of attachment for a personal fall arrest, fall restraint, work positioning or rescue system that can safely withstand the forces each of these systems requires.
Anchorage Connector
A means of attaching a personal fall arrest, fall restraint, work Positioning or rescue system to the anchorage that comes in many common types including anchor slings, roof anchors, beam clamps, rail sliders, trolleys, eyebolts and shepherd hooks.
ATEX
ATEX is the name given to a set of European Directives relating to Hazardous Area Installations (Flammable Atmospheres) that takes its name from the French "Atmosphères Explosibles".It spells out a set of Essential Health & Safety Requirements (EHSR) which when followed should enable everyone in the industry to operate safely and to avoid incident. Two separate directives have been introduced covering Equipment (94/9/EC) and Safety of Working Operations (1999/92/EC).

Directive 94/9/EC applies to all equipment and protective systems to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres.

Directive 99/92/EC refers to the minimum requirements for the improvement of health and safety at work for employees

Authorized Person
An employee who utilizes fall protection equipment on a regular basis to complete his or her assigned duties.
Authorized Rescuer
An employee who has been trained to perform or assist with rescues.
Automatic descent control device
A device that, once engaged, lowers personnel at a controlled rate.

B

Back D-ring
Also known as the dorsal attachment or dorsal D-ring. Attachment point that is located on the back of the full-body harness, positioned between the shoulder blades.
Body Belt
A waist strap for attaching to a lanyard, lifeline or deceleration device. Used for work positioning and/or fall restraint.
Body Support
Comes in the form of a full body harness that provides a connection point on the worker for the personal fall arrest system. Depending on the application, they can be used as part of a system to protect the worker from falling and to limit the extent of potential injury in case of a fall.

C

Carabiner
A link with a locking gate that is normally closed or automatically closes, and is used to connect components of a fall protection system. Also noted as a Karabiner Certified anchorage An anchorage that a qualified person determines to be capable of supporting fall arrest forces.
Climb Assist
A vertical fall protection system that assists the user in the ascent or descent of a fixed ladder to reduce fatigue.
Clearance (calculation)
To determine the required fall clearance add the appropriate factors together, this will give you the safe required distance (RD) below the working surface for work which is to be carried out where there is any risk of falling. Calculation: free fall distance energy absorber deceleration distance clearance to obstruction during fall arrest
Competent Person
Usually the day-to-day supervisor of individuals who work at heights. He or she conducts the fall hazard survey and identifies new and existing fall hazards and how to protect employees exposed to each hazard. The competent person may also supervise the selection, installation, use and inspection of non-certified anchorages in jurisdictions where this is permitted and verify that current systems are in compliance with applicable standards. He or she also ensures a rescue plan is in place for a fallen worker, participates in accident investigations, inspects equipment and removes from service damaged or otherwise unusable equipment.
Competent Rescuer
An individual who develops procedures and methods for conducting a rescue for each foreseeable fall hazard prior to the commencement of work, ensures that the authorized rescuers have been properly trained and are proficient at performing rescues, and identifies the resources necessary to conduct a rescue and verifies those resources are on hand.
Connector
A device that is used to connect components of personal fall arrest, fall restraint, work positioning or rescue systems. Connectors include but are not limited to lanyards, snap hooks, carabiners and deceleration devices, and specialty systems such as self-retracting lifelines, ladder climbing systems, vertical lifelines and rope grabs.
Confined Space
An area that is difficult to access and which may require specialized equipment for entry and retrieval.
Counterweight System
A system that uses weights to provide a sturdy support structure to offset the weight of a worker.
Customized Harnesses
Full-body harnesses that feature the company's logo


D

D-Ring
A component that is integrated into fall protection equipment, commonly found on body support and some anchorage connectors, which allows for attachment of a connecting device.
Davit Arm or Davit Post
Davits are an alternative to the basic tripod. They have a variety of base configurations to fit a wide variety of openings and holes.
Debris Net
A netting system that is designed to contain debris. These systems are usually not rated for fall arrest.
Deceleration Device
A device that is designed to limit the forces exerted on the worker during a fall. Deceleration devices include rope grabs, some lanyards and self-retracting lifelines.
Demonstration Vehicles
Vehicles typically used for on-site fall protection training and demonstrations to conduct drop tests and showcase the proper use of fall protection equipment
Descender
A device used to help safely lower a worker to a lower level of a structure or to the ground in a controlled manner
Descent System
A system used to help safely lower a worker to a lower level of a structure or to the ground in a controlled manner
Dorsal D-ring
Also known as the back D-ring. Attachment point that is located on the back of the full-body harness, positioned between the shoulder blades.
Double-leg Lanyard
Also known as twin-leg lanyard. Two lanyards that are connected at one end. Used to provide 100 percent tie-off to keep the employee protected in the event of a fall at all times as he or she moves from one location to another.


E

End Anchor
Anchorage points on each end of the horizontal lifeline system.
Energy Absorber
Also known as shock absorber. An energy-absorbing unit that will limit the force exerted on the worker in the event of a fall.
Engineered Products
Strategically designed products by a professional to meet a specific need


F

Fall Arrest Kit
A personal fall arrest system used to protect and catch a worker at heights of six feet or more were a fall to occur, commonly includes a full body harness, lifeline or lanyard and an anchorage connector
Fall Arrest
The act of stopping a free-fall.
Fall Arrest Force
Forces exerted on the body when a fall is arrested.
Fall Arrest System
Also known as a personal fall arrest system. The complete collection of equipment and components that is designed to stop a fall in progress.
Fall Clearance
The vertical distance needed to safely arrest a fall. When using a self-retracting lifeline, a minimum of 6 feet of clearance from the working level to the lower level is recommended. When using a lanyard, the required distance from the working surface to the nearest obstruction equals lanyard length plus energy absorber deceleration distance plus height of the dorsal D-ring on the full-body harness from the worker's feet plus a recommended buffer zone of 2.5 feet.
Fall Hazard
Any location where an employee is exposed to a potential fall. Fall protection equipment
Equipment that is worn by a worker to prevent or arrest a fall.
Fall Protection Program
A plan that is required whenever one or more workers are routinely exposed to fall hazards. The plan must be developed and consistently audited and updated to ensure that fall hazards are identified and controlled, and that workers are aware of all hazards and trained in the appropriate control method. The program must also include a rescue plan for each fall hazard.
Fall Restraint System
A system that prevents an employee's center of gravity from reaching a fall hazard.
First-Man-Up Systems
Systems used to install and remove a fall protection device to an overhead location using a telescoping pole and adaptor tool
Free-fall
The act of falling before a personal fall arrest system begins to arrest the fall.
Frontal D-ring
A connector located on the front of a full-body harness in the sternum area.
Full-body Harness
A means of supporting the body with straps that fasten around the user and distribute fall arrest forces over the upper thighs, pelvis, chest and shoulders.


G

Guardrail System
A passive form of fall protection. Usually a barrier consisting of vertical and horizontal rails to prevent workers from reaching a fall hazard.


H

Hardware
Any metal component such as a D-ring, snaphook or carabiner used to attach components of a fall protection system.
Health & Safety at Work
Health and safety considerations and standards for employees in the workplace environment
Horizontal Lifeline System
A system comprised of a flexible line such as wire, rope or cable, with connectors at both ends for securing it horizontally between two anchorages or anchorage connectors.
Horizontal Life Line - Permanent
A permanently installed horizontal lifeline that is built into the structure for use as the anchorage not only during construction, but also for maintenance and repairs later on.
Horizontal Life Line - Temporary
A horizontal lifeline system that is easy to install/remove and can be used on more than one jobsite without damaging the surface that it is attached to.


I

Impact Indicator
A visual reference that a piece of fall protection equipment has been involved in a fall and should be taken out of service.
Inertia Reel
An inertia-activated reel that retracts and releases. In the event of a fall the reel locks.
Intermediate (HLL Reference)
Lifeline connection points on each end of the horizontal lifeline system.


J


K

Karabiner
A link with a locking gate that is normally closed or automatically closes, and is used to connect components of a fall protection system. Also noted as a Carabiner Kevlar webbing A type of webbing used for specialty applications such as welding that requires fire resistance.


L

Lanyard
A device used to connect a full-body harness to an anchorage or anchorage connector, usually made of webbing material.
Leading Edge
The edge of a concrete construction structure or similar rugged structure that proposes a fall hazard to workers working on the structure.
Lifelines (this could be for drop lines or srls)
A rope, cable or webbing that is connected to a secure anchor point and the worker's harness to provide mobility and fall prevention
Load Arrestor
A back-up safety device to completely stop a dropping load (material loads only, not personnel) if it breaks free from the main support line. It is typically used in conjunction with lifting equipment such as cranes and hoists.
Load Arrestor
A backup device used to stop a dropping load if it breaks free from the main support line


M

Manual Descent Control Device
A device that, once engaged, requires the user to control lowering speed.


N

Netting System
Passive systems, usually designed to contain debris or for fall arrest.
Non-certified anchorage
An anchorage that a competent person determines to be capable of supporting fall arrest forces, usually beams, trusses or other suitably strong structures.


O


P

Pass Through Buckle
Is composed of two mating flat metal frames. The female frame is an open rectangle that is permanently attached to a loop at the end of a strap. The male frame is attached to the joining strap by passing the webbing through the two slots in the frame. To engage the buckle, turn the male buckle at an angle so that it will pass through the female frame. After it has passed through, turn it back so that the male frame lies directly on top of the female frame.
Passive Fall Protection System
A means of providing fall protection that does not require an employee to wear or actively use equipment. This includes guardrails and personnel-rated netting systems.
Permit-required Confined Space
A space that has one or more of the following characteristics: (1) contains or has a potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; (2) contains a material that has the potential for engulfing an entrant; (3) has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated by inwardly converging walls or by a floor which slopes downward and tapers to a smaller cross-section; or (4) contains any other recognized serious safety or health hazard (such as a fall hazard).
Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS)
Also known as fall arrest system. The complete collection of equipment and components that is designed to stop a fall in progress.
Personnel Net
A netting system that is designed to withstand fall arrest forces.
Pig Tail
A screw hook with a spiral shaped eye.
Positioning Lanyard
Rope or web lanyards without shock absorbers that are used to maintain a working position at height or restrict movement to avoid a hazardous position.
Positioning Belt
A configurable device used to protect a worker at heights while allowing them to position themselves to comfortably and safely complete a task.
Primary Pad (Mobi-Lok)
Part of the Mobi-Lok™ Self Contained Vacuum Anchor System, a pad made of blended rubber or EPDM pad material to create a non-penetrating anchor point on a smooth, non-porous surface to support one worker
Program Administrator
Individual responsible for all phases of the fall protection plan, including its development, implementation and ongoing monitoring. He or she must provide guidance to all those affected by the fall protection plan, assign all duties and responsibilities, provide training programs, participate in accident investigations and evaluate the effectiveness of the plan.


Q

Qualified Person
Individual who supervises the design, installation and inspection of fall protection and rescue systems. This person must have a recognized degree or professional certificate as well as extensive knowledge, training and experience in the fall protection and rescue industry.
Quick-connect Buckle
A buckle that allows for one-handed operation for fast and easy donning of a full-body harness.

R

Rebar Hook
Hooks made of twist link chain for strength and durability that are designed for use on rebar to allow workers to open and close the hook even with gloves on without getting their thumbs or fingers in the way.
Rescue Positioning Device
A rescue or positioning system that allows the worker to simply raise or lower himself or someone else to a work level.
Rescue System
Equipment and components used to help a fallen worker return to the ground or location from which he or she fell, or that retrieves or evacuates an employee from dangerous situations or confined spaces.
Restraint
To prevent workers from reaching an area where a free fall could occur. Restraint System
A system used to prevent a worker at heights from getting too close to the edge of a structure where a free fall could occur, commonly includes a full body harness, lanyard and anchorage connector.
Retrofit Tags
Tags specifically designed to be fastened on particular types of equipment. RFID
Radio-frequency identification technology is incorporated into a product through RFID tags for identification and tracking purposes using radio waves
Rope Adjuster
Metal device that attaches to a rope and provides a connecting point for a lanyard, can be loosened and tightened to move to various locations on the rope.
Rope Grab
A deceleration device that moves along and engages a lifeline, and locks to arrest a fall in progress.

S

Safety-monitoring System
A system in which a competent person is responsible for recognizing and warning employees of fall hazards.
Safety Sleeve
According to ANSI A14.3-2002, it shall be operated entirely by the person using the ladder safety system. It shall permit the person using the ladder safety system to ascend or descend without having to continually manipulate the safety sleeve.
Secondary Pad (Mobi-Lok)
Part of the Mobi-Lok™ Self Contained Vacuum Anchor System, a pad made of blended rubber or EPDM pad material to create a non-penetrating anchor point on a smooth, non-porous surface to support two workers.
Self-retracting Lifeline
A flexible lifeline attached to a mechanism that allows it to extend and retract under slight tension when the user moves away from or toward the device. The device automatically locks to arrest a fall in progress.
Service Center
Location where customer service specialists are prepared to help with customer needs and requests.
Shock Absorber
Also known as an energy absorber. An energy-absorbing unit that will limit the force exerted on the worker in the event of a fall.
Shock-absorbing Lanyard
A connective device used with a personal fall arrest system that features an integral shock absorber to dissipate the energy of a fall, limiting fall arrest forces.
Shock-absorbing Stretch Lanyard
A connective device used with a personal fall arrest system that expands and contracts following the employee's movement. Helps prevent trips, falls and snags.
Shock Pack
Part of the shock-absorbing lanyard that contains the shocks that will be deployed in an event of a fall.
Side-entry System
A device that clamps or bolts to the side of a structure, usually a confined space, to provide an anchorage point and base for attaching a winching mechanism.
Size Chart (harnesses)
A chart used to determine the proper size of harness to be worn by workers depending on the person's individual height and weight.
Sleeve
Hole in the concrete this is meant to be filled to erect a horizontal lifeline.
Snaphook
A connector comprised of a hook-shaped body with a self-locking gate used to connect components of a fall protection system.
Span
The distance between intermediates for a horizontal lifeline system.
Standards (CE, OSHA, ANSI, CSA, AS/NSZ)
Mandatory requirements or recommendations to follow as determined by governments and organizations: Conformité Européenne (CE), Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), American National Standards Institute(ANSI), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Standards Australia (AS/NSZ).
Spreader Hook
Two snap hooks consolidated with a pair of D-rings to provide a single attachment point.
Stanchion
Is a tie-off point in a form of an I-beam that are mounted into sleeves that are poured into place during column construction. Stanchions are usually included as part of a complete and portable horizontal system. The style of stanchions affects the distance of the span, the weight and portability of the system, and what the system connects to.
Suspension Trauma
A condition that occurs when the leg straps of a full-body harness constrict the veins, causing blood to pool in the legs.
Suspension Trauma Straps
A device that can be attached to or is integral on a full-body harness that is deployed following fall arrest and used to minimize the impact of suspension trauma.
Swing Fall
A pendulum-like motion resulting from a fall that occurs in a position located horizontally away from the anchorage.

T

Tags
A piece of material attached to one end of something as a label or mark.
Tie-back lanyard
A flexible line of heavy-duty and abrasion-resistant webbing designed to be used as the connector and anchorage connector by wrapping the webbing around a structural member and connecting the snaphook to the webbing.
Tie Back Lanyard
Acts as both the connecting means and an anchorage connector and comes in two styles. One incorporates the movable D-ring on the lanyard for attaching the snap hook and the other is designed for the hook to go around the webbing itself, which requires a specialty hook with a gate strength capacity of 5,000 pounds (22kN).
Tie-Off Adapter
Alternative anchorage connectors for a fall arrest system made of different materials, including cable, web and chain.
Training & Consulting
Courses and programs to educate and instruct workers on the proper use of fall protection and rescue equipment with professional advice provided to minimize risk and maximize protection.
Tripods
Lightweight, portable devices usually used for manhole entry and retrieval applications.
Tongue Buckle
Similar to a belt buckle, the worker inserts the webbing strap through the buckle and places the buckle tongue into the grommet hole and adjusts for proper fit and comfort.
Trolley
An anchorage connector that rolls along the I-beam to provide horizontal mobility to the worker.
Twin-leg Lanyard
Also known as double-leg lanyard. Two lanyards that are connected at one end. Used to provide 100 percent tie-off to keep the employee protected in the event of a fall at all times as he or she moves from one location to another.

U

V

Vacuum Anchor
An anchor that can be attached to any smooth, non-porous surface through the use of compressed air that creates vacuum-style suction to the surface.
Vertical Lifeline System
A system comprised of a flexible line such as wire, rope or cable, with connectors at the upper end and lower end, along which a fall arrester travels.

W

Webbing
Woven fabric used on fall protection equipment components such as full-body harnesses and lanyards.
Wedge Grip
Easily adjusted termination for wire rope cable, requires no tools to install and is 5,000 lb. (22Kn) rated
Winch
A device that lifts and lowers loads and contains a mechanism that controls pay-out and take-up of the line. Provides a mechanical lifting advantage.

XYZ