Standards for fall protection equipment
The regulations concerning work at height do not provide a clear, precise definition. The onus is on the employer to assess the risks and take the collective or personal measures required to guarantee the safety of everyone.
Here is a list of standards and regulations derived from French decree no. 2004-924 : anchor points, harnesses, belts, connectors, lanyards, rope access, etc.
Regulations concerning work at height: French decree no. 2004-924
The general prevention principles must be applied by all employers whose staff work at a height that poses a true risk of falling.
Collective protective equipment and PPE
“If collective protective equipment cannot be put in place, workers must be protected using a suitable fall arrest system which does not allow freefall for more than one metre, or which limits the effects of a fall from a greater height in the same conditions.”
Regulations concerning work at height: European standards
ANCORAGE - EN795
The anchor point is a secure place for you to attach your fall protection equipment to guarantee the safety of users. There are different types of anchor points:
Type A: Anchor device requiring the attachment of one or more structural anchors
Type B: Anchor device that does not require the attachment of one or more structural anchors
Type C: Anchor device using a flexible horizontal anchor line
Type D: Anchor device using a rigid horizontal anchor line
Type E: Dead weight anchor device
FULL BODY HARNESS - EN361
The full body harness is a fall arrest device designed to hold the user in place in the best possible conditions in the case of a fall arrest scenario, pending the arrival of rescue teams.
Anchor points have static resistance > 15kN.
BELTS - EN358
The work positioning belt is a device that enables the user to be held securely in a given position with their hands free.
Anchor points have static resistance > 15kN.
Note: Belts must not be used as fall arrest devices.
A fall arrest device is a device that limits the height of the fall (one metre) or reduces its impact (less than 600daN) as per recommendation R-431
FALL ARRESTERS - EN353-1
Mobile fall arrester with a rigid anchor line.
A sliding fall arrester on a rigid anchor line is a device that locks automatically and comes to a halt on the vertical anchor line if the user falls. The anchor line may be a taut cable or a rail.
Breaking strength of these systems >15 kN.
FALL ARRESTERS EN353-2
Mobile fall arrester with a flexible anchor line.
A sliding fall arrester on a flexible anchor line is a device that locks automatically and comes to a stop on the vertical anchor line if the user falls. The anchor line may be a cable or rope (twisted or stranded). These flexible anchor lines need to be weighed down with a counterweight.
Breaking strength of these systems >15kN.
FALL ARRESTERS - EN360
Retractable-type fall arresters
A retractable-type fall arrester is a device containing a lanyard (cable or strap) kept constantly taut. It moves around with the user. The system automatically locks and comes to a stop if the user falls. Different lengths are available.
Breaking strength > 12kN (cable lanyard) or > 15kN (fabric lanyard)
LANYARDS - EN355
Energy-absorbing lanyards dissipate the energy of a fall caused by the tearing of a strap or specific seam. The maximum length is 2 metres including the connectors.
Breaking strength >15kN
Note: Lanyards that do not contain energy absorbers must not be used as a fall arrest system.
LANYARDS - EN 354
Whether they are connectors or part of a fall restraint system, they restrict the area in which a user can move around.
Breaking strength > 22kN.
LANYARDS - EN358
A work positioning lanyard enables the user to work at height (or suspended) in a safe and supported hands-free position.
Breaking strength >15kN.
CONNECTORS - EN362
Connectors are an essential part of any fall arrest system. It is vital to understand the different ways in which they are used.
CLASS A: Can be used as an anchor point
CLASS B: Detachable
CLASS T: Permanent
“For any work performed at height, the company involved must draw up a risk prevention plan including a “rescue plan” (…) designed to handle any emergency situation that may arise while work is being carried out”.
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