Four Functional Equipment Categories

Fall Arrest
As a general rule, it is recommended that a fall arrest system be used at working heights of four feet or more. This system consists of:

  • anchorage/anchorage connector
  • body wear (full-body harness)
  • connecting device (shock-absorbing lanyards, self-retracting lifelines)


Positioning/Restraint*
A positioning/restraint system is used to hold a worker in place while allowing a hands-free work environment at elevated heights and/or restrict the worker’s movement to prevent reaching a location where a fall hazard exists. A typical positioning/restraint system consists of:

  • anchorage/anchorage connector
  • body wear (full-body harness or body belt)
  • connecting device (positioning lanyard)
  • *The positioning and suspension systems are not designed for fall arrest, and therefore a back-up fall arrest system must be used.


Suspension*
Suspension systems are used widely in the window washing and painting industries and are designed to lower and support a worker while allowing a hands-free work environment. A typical suspension system would include:

  • anchorage/anchorage connector (anchor bolt, trolley, carabiner, etc.)
  • body wear (full-body harness)
  • connecting device (workline)
  • suspension device (bos’n chair)
  • *The positioning and suspension systems are not designed for fall arrest, and therefore a back-up fall arrest system must be used.


Retrieval
The retrieval system is primarily used in confined space applications where workers must enter tanks, manholes, etc. and may require retrieval from above should an emergency occur. A retrieval system typically consists of:

  • anchorage/anchorage connector (tripod, davit)
  • body wear (full-body harness)
  • connecting device (retractable lifeline/retrieval