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Fall Protection Your guide to protecting those working at height

What is Fall Protection?

Fall protection refers to the whole range of actions necessary to minimise both the risk of a fall from height during work and the consequences of any fall should a fall occur.
This involves:

  • Assessment
  • Planning
  • Selection of equipment
  • Training

You become responsible if you are a building owner or are a contractor commissioned to carry out work at height and become a ‘duty-holder’ within the meaning of the ‘Work at Height Regulations – 2005’. Refer to the Sayfa Document ‘Safety Requirements for Working at Height’ for further details.

Types of Fall Protection

There is an obvious hierarchy of preferred solutions when considering potential falls from height:

  • Work from the ground if at all possible
  • If there is no alternative to working at height, use equipment to prevent a fall
  • Use specialised equipment to minimise the distance and the possible consequences of a fall

Fall protection equipment falls into two main categories.

  • Collective/Passive – requires no action by the user to achieve protection – e.g. a hand-rail
  • Personal/Active – requires an action by the user(s) to achieve protection – e.g. a safety line that the user must clip on to, to be protected.

Obviously, following the hierarchy, a collective/passive system that prevents a fall is preferable to a system that is personal/active that mitigates the result of a fall.

In reality it is more complicated than this as the choice of equipment is down to many things outside the strict hierarchy such as:

  • The nature, duration and frequency of the work
  • Impact on other aspects of site safety
  • Weather conditions etc.

Sayfa Options include:


A fall arrest bag which is quick to inflate and install on site, has minimal impact on site storage and working and yet offers collective/passive fall protection up to 2.75 metres above ground level in line with PAS 59 – 2014


Where working from the ground is difficult or dangerous RhinoDeck offers a secure and stable access load and work platform with a SWL of 600kgs/m2 up to heights of 3 metres. RhinoDeck eliminates the risk of any fall from height and provides a cost effective and time saving collective/passive solution.


The range of Payload products includes collective/passive fall protection solutions such as handrails – both lightweight aluminium and galvanised steel – as well as safe access solutions such as walkways, gantries, step-overs and ladders. Safe access to the area of work is as much the responsibility of the ‘duty-holder’ as is fall prevention.


The range of Aviator products provide for safe roof and façade access and combines a range of personal/active roof-safety line systems as well as abseil systems consisting of Aviator abseil eye-bolts and posts, davit arms for both goods and personnel and Raptor Rail – a lightweight aluminium perimeter abseil rail designed for access to external facades or internal atria.