Solutions for height safety

Supplier: MSA Australia
13 July, 2011

Long recognised for its innovative range of gas detection, breathing apparatus, head protection and safety eyewear, MSA is also recognised for its quality range of fall protection equipment.

Recently released products such as the Workman Line of Harnesses, Personal Fall Limiter (PFL) and Tripod compliment an already extensive range of Fall Protection products.
Fall Protection manufacturers in Australia offering a vast array of products, sometimes making it difficult to select the best mix of options. MSA can make this as easy as A plus B plus C, with one additional factor, the letter R.
A = Anchorage
Selection of the type and location of anchorages will depend on the nature and location of the task and the type of construction of the building or supporting structure. As a minimum, single point anchorages, rated for fall arrest should have an ultimate strength of 15 kN (approx: 1.5 tonnes) in the direction of loading. Anchorages rated at 21 kN or above can be used by two persons. MSA has a variety of anchors rated at greater than 21 kN.
Full body or lower body harness? Australian and New Zealand Standards allow for the use of lower body harnesses, only where the risk of a fall is limited to a free fall of less than 600 mm. NOTE: MSA does not recommend the use of lower body harnesses in any safe work at heights application. In all instances a full body fall arrest harness is the preferred choice. Consideration of harness style should be given to the application for example, general height work, work positioning or work suspension and confined space entry. MSA harness styles vary to suit the particular applications. The right harness selection will ensure the greatest degree of safety and comfort in that particular work application.
This is the link between the anchorage and harness. As a minimum , a lanyard assembly (shock absorbing lanyard), designed to reduce the shock loads on the body to below 6 kN must be used. NOTE: Calculation of the total fall distance is critical when selecting the appropriate fall protection PPE. Possible configurations include fixed length or adjustable shock absorbing lanyards. Tie back or twin leg shock absorbing lanyards, all with a variety of hardware options such as double action snap hooks and karabiners with varying gate size openings. Where clearance distance does not allow the use of a lanyard assembly or a greater range of movement is required a Self Retracting Lifeline (SRL) is recommended.


Typically this is the forgotten factor when a hazard risk analysis is conducted to determine the correct fall protection product selection. Even in large population areas where a call to the emergency number will activate a response by the local rescue authority, rescue of a fallen worker could still be 20 minutes or even longer away. The longer a worker is left in suspension after a fall, the greater his chances are to succumbing to the effects of suspension trauma. A good rescue plan should not rely on just the outside rescue authorities to arrive in time. MSA has a range of simple to use recovery products to assist in performing a quick, safe and successful rescue. NOTE: MSA and Australian and New Zealand Standards recommend all workers involved in working at heights complete an accredited safe work at heights training course to comply with legislative obligations and to safely manage tasks while working at heights.
Consult your MSA Specialist for advice in all these areas.