A fall arrest block, also known as a fall arrester or a retractable/self-retractable lanyard, is an important part of PPE, especially for users who are working at height or near other potential fall risk areas. The lifelines are typically made from synthetic fibres, webbing or wire and can vary in length from 2m to 50m. Fall arrest blocks are valuable in protecting you from falls and provide you with additional safety when used with additional fall arrest equipment.
Fall arrest blocks consist of a lifeline wire or rope in a protective casing. Inside this protective casing, the lifeline is operated on a spring system that is designed to react to the rapid unravelling of the lifeline (in the case of a fall). A light tension is always applied but allows the wearer to move around their space freely, with the brake mechanism only applied once the lifeline reaches critical velocity. A fall arrest block is vital for ensuring the safety of each individual worker, especially when combined with a retrieval block with retractable and self-retractable lines for users in difficulty.
When working at height, it is a legal requirement for employers to protect their employees from falling and protect themselves and others from falling objects. A fall arrest block meets this legal requirement, alongside fall arrest harnesses, lanyards, safety ropes, carabiners/karabiners, rescue fall limiters, slings, webbing, tripods, winches, and should be supplied to each worker in every suitable circumstance.
Fall arrest lifelines should be checked to ensure that they fit fall arrest equipment requirements by having the correct length, which will ensure that, if you fall, the length of the lanyard or safety rope and cable is sufficient to ensure you reach the ground safely and/or prevent injury.
A fall arrest block is also used to winch equipment and users securely, so you must ensure you have enough safety rope and cable length to complete the job in safety.
Steel, stainless and galvanised steel, webbing, polyester, polyamide, rope.
Aluminium, nylon, plastic, polyurethane, polyamide and steel.