Choosing Fall Protection Equipment


Comfort: You want the perfect fit. To ensure a perfect fit, harnesses are available in different sizes. A standard size will fit most workers.

  • Parachute style (vest style): A vest type harness is put on like a jacket.
  • Crossover (cross-chest): A crossover harness is put on over the head, similar to putting on a jumper.

The choice of style is a matter of personal preference. There are also different types of leg and shoulder strap connections available on a harness:

  • Qwik-Fit(traditional mating buckle) or
  • Klik Connect (auto lock double action unlock)

Both styles offer fast and easy connection and adjustment. The choice of leg strap connections is a matter of personal preference.

You also have a choice of D-Ring configurations on a harness: Chest D-rings (or web loops), Rear D-rings or Side D-rings.

  • Chest D-ring (or web loops). AS/NZS 1891.1:2007 standard recommends the chest frontal attach point is the preferred point of
    attachment for all fall arrest applications.
  • Rear D-Ring. This is also an approved attachment point for fall arrest. It can also be used as a rescue attachment.
  • Side D-rings. Used for work positioning activities to allow the worker to have their hands free to perform work using pole strap.


There are two primary types of lanyards:

  • Shock-absorbing lanyards used when the free
    fall distance (fall hazard) can exceed 600mm
  • Restraint or positioning lanyards used only
    when free fall distance (fall hazard) can be limited
    to 600mm or less (note: a shock absorber should
    still be used in the lanyard)

In choosing the correct lanyard, you must keep the
application in mind.

  • Ensure the lanyard is the proper length to allow the
    necessary worker movement/ positioning.

Determine that the right material type is chosen (depending
on your work environment).

Cable works best in high heat environments or
around sharp edges.

Rope or Webbing works best in most other

Ensure you have calculated your total fall distance.
See diagram on the right.

You also need to consider the compatibility of the system
components. Components produced by different
manufacturers may not be interchangeable. The best way to
ensure compatibility is to purchase all components from the
same manufacturer.

Note: If a lanyard assembly is not suitable then use of a self
retracting lifeline (SRL) device is recommended.


Anchorage selection is driven primarily by application. You will need to carefully consider your work environment, in particular the type of structure where the connector will be attached. Examples include:

  • Roof
  • Steel Beam
  • Rail
  • Scaffold
  • Concrete Column

Weight should also be a consideration if a worker will need to carry the connector around during the work day. You will also need to consider the number of workers required to attach to the anchorage. Most MSA connectors are rated for two person use with a 22.2kN minimum breaking strength. Anchorages are required, under AS/NZS 1891.4, to have a minimum breaking strength of 15kN for 1 person attached.

An anchorage rated to greater than 21kN is suitable for use by no more than 2 people.