The first component of a personal fall arrest system is the Body Wear worn by workers while performing the job. Simply put, the full-body harness is the only acceptable form of body wear for fall arrest.
The body belt is no longer recommended; and, as of January 1, 1998, most regulations governing fall protection prohibit the use of body belts for fall protection due to the concentration of fall forces on the abdomen. Full-body harnesses distribute fall forces throughout the body, substantially reducing the chance of injury.
In addition, the full-body harness keeps the worker suspended upright in the event of a fall and supported while awaiting rescue.
The second component of a personal fall arrest system is the Connecting Device. This may be a shock-absorbing lanyard, tie-back lanyard, retractable lifeline, rope grab and vertical lifeline, or similar device used to connect the body wear to the anchorage/anchorage connector.
A connecting device should be selected based on the work to be performed and the work environment. In addition, it is critical to consider potential fall distance when determining the type of connecting device to be used.