Fall protection – FAQ

What is fall protection?

Fall protection is a common term for the use of equipment to be used to prevent falls to a lower level. Another term is Personal Protective Equipment against falls from heights (PPE).

When should I use fall protection equipment?

In any situation where there is a possibility of a fall, it should be assessed whether the use of fall protection equipment is necessary. If there is a risk of a fall of 2 meters or more, fall protection equipment must be used. In some situations, fall protection equipment may be necessary even if there is a risk of falling less than 2 meters.

Your employer has overall responsibility for ensuring that the work you perform is safe. When the work involves a risk of falling, the use of fall protection equipment will be a natural part of the company’s HSE.

When is a fall protection course required?

When an employee is to use fall protection equipment, the employer must document training in the use of the equipment.

How long is a fall protection course valid?

Although the certificate of competence lasts forever by definition, you still need to assess whether you are still fit to use the equipment. If it’s been a long time since you last used fall protection, it’s wise to consider refreshing your training. Updating your knowledge on a regular basis can help ensure that you continue to use the equipment in a safe and responsible manner.

Is fall protection considered personal protective equipment?

Fall protection equipment is considered personal protective equipment (PPE) and falls under the requirements for the protection of employees by special precautions in the workplace.

How often should fall protection be checked?

A qualified person should check the fall protection at least once a year or when it has been subjected to abnormal stresses. Damaged equipment should never be used. It must be discarded or sent for repair in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

Is fall protection course required for scaffolders?

Yes – the regulations require that all scaffolders must be trained in the use of fall protection equipment. The regulations clearly state that all scaffolders must be given “training in the use of relevant safety equipment that can protect against falls during the assembly, dismantling and alteration of scaffolding structures” (see Regulations on the performance of work, new sections 17-2, 17-3 and 17-4). This means that all scaffolders must be trained in the use of fall protection equipment.

Are there requirements for fall protection on lifts?

Personal fall protection is recommended when using lifts. The employer, in cooperation with the operator, must take the necessary precautions and assess the risk and the need for the necessary safety equipment.

When working near or over water, an assessment of the risk must be made. Where the risk of drowning is greater than the risk of being injured by a fall, life jackets must be used, not fall protection equipment.

Where should I anchor fall protection on a lift?

Many lifts have their own anchor point. The location of the anchorage point is described in the user manual. Most newer lifts have a “triangle” in the corners where the equipment should be attached. Always use the specified attachment point so that you know that the equipment is securely attached.

How to stay safe when working on the roof?

If work at height is necessary, collective fall protection (e.g. guardrails, scaffolding, lifts) must be prioritized over personal fall protection equipment (PPE). PPE must be the absolute last solution if you cannot use collective methods.

How do I know if my equipment is safe?

There are a few important things to remember when using fall protection equipment:
Must be CE marked
Must be suitable for the individual user
Must be adapted to the work
Must be checked regularly
Must be used in accordance with the user guide


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