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Fall restraint system

There are some important differences between the terms fall restraint and fall arrest, and it's extremely important to understand these differences (and use the correct safety equipment) when working at height.

According to current height safety regulations, you must:

  • Avoid working at height where it's reasonably practicable to do so.

  • Where work at height cannot be avoided, make the working area as safe as possible and use appropriate fall restraint equipment (such as edge protection barriers).

  • Use a fall restraint system to stop the worker from reaching a fall hazard (like an unprotected roof edge or an open manhole).

  • Use a fall arrest system to limit the distance and consequences of a fall. This option should always be the last resort and must also include adequate means of rescue.

All fall protection systems - including fall arrest AND fall restraint systems - consist of three essential pieces of equipment: anchors, lanyards and harnesses.

Anchors   Lanyards   Harnesses

Let's take a closer look at the two different types of fall protection system...


Fall Restraint

What is a fall restraint system?

A fall restraint system prevents the worker from being able to reach fall hazards in the first place. Fall restraint equipment normally includes a fixed-length lanyard connected to a suitable anchorage point at one end and the worker's safety harness at the other. The length of the lanyard is adjusted to prevent the worker from being able to reach a fall hazard. Fall restraint systems are also referred to as work restraint or simply restraint systems.

If you're interested in seeing what equipment is available for those looking to use a fall restraint system, click the link below to be directed to SafetyLiftinGear's range of work positioning and restraint products.

Fall Restraint Products


When should I use fall restraint equipment?

A fall restraint system should always be considered before a fall arrest system (in accordance with the current working at height regulations) as fall restraint systems keep falls from happening at all. A fall restraint system might also be considered where limited ground clearance is available below the work area. Typically, a fall restraint system requires less intervention from the worker as they're able to work continuously at a fixed distance from the anchorage point.

Fall restraint systems are also typically more cost-effective than fall arrest systems due to the fact that shock absorbers are not necessary, and you're not required to have a rescue plan in place for the duration of the work as there should be zero chance of the worker falling or being suspended in their harness.


Fall Arrest

What does 'fall arrest' mean?

A fall arrest system provides maximum freedom of movement for the worker - however, in doing so, it also enables the worker to reach a position where an accidental fall could occur. In the event of a fall, the fall arrest system ensures the worker will be caught before descending. Fall arrest equipment must be selected and positioned to limit the distance and consequences of the fall.

When using a fall arrest system, you will need to utilise a fall arrest harness and an appropriate lanyard. Fall arrest harnesses decelerate the momentum of a fall by absorbing the kinetic energy. Fall arrest harnesses are ergonomically designed to provide utmost comfort, both while working at height and in the event of a fall.

When using fall arrest systems, it's essential that you always use the correct equipment. Click the links below to browse the wide range of fall arrest anchors and fall arrest blocks available from SafetyLiftinGear.

Fall Arrest Anchors   Fall Arrest Blocks

IMPORTANT: When choosing a fall arrest harness, you must ensure that it is fit for purpose. A fall protection harness that's designed to restrain the worker may not be able to safely halt a worker who has fallen from height. Choose a harness that's specifically designed to be used as part of a fall arrest system.


When should I use a fall arrest system?

A fall arrest system should be used where it is not possible to restrict the worker from reaching a fall hazard. Fall arrest systems would typically be used when work needs to be completed on fragile surfaces, or when the worker is required to work over the leading edge of a fall hazard. If a worker is able to reach a fall hazard, fall arrest equipment (e.g. a fall arrest harness) must be used. Following a fall, consideration must be given to the rescue of the worker - leaving the worker suspended in the air for an extended period of time can result in suspension trauma.

If you want to get a better idea of the different types of equipment and accessories available that you can use within your fall arrest system, click on the link below to view our fall arrest products.

Fall Arrest Systems


Rescue Equipment

The law states that when planning work at height, consideration must be given to a full and comprehensive rescue plan. The rescue plan is intended to reduce the risks associated with the worker being suspended after a fall has occurred, and must ensure that the rescue is completed in a prompt and safe manner. There are several methods of rescue available that are specific to the work environment and location of a fall. Here at SafetyLiftinGear, we offer variety of rescue systems to allow the fast and efficient rescue of a suspended worker.

Buy & Hire Rescue Equipment >


By understanding your working environment and the nature of any potential fall hazards, you will make it far easier to select the correct fall protection system.

If you are in need of such equipment, please visit our Fall Protection Equipment page, where we have a fantastic range of fall restraint equipment, fall arrest equipment and rescue gear available to buy and hire.

If you have any questions about our fall protection systems, don't hesitate to contact SafetyLiftinGear today.


trolley jack

If lifting extremely heavy loads is something that you do on a regular basis, then our range of trolley jacks is the product for you! We offer a collection of heavy-duty floor jacks here at SafetyLiftinGear, allowing you to lift loads of up to 10 tonnes with very little fuss and difficulty.



Use one of our Electric Powered Stair Climbers for hire to make transporting heavy goods easy and stress-free!



Hoist and Winch

Some people use the words 'winch' and 'hoist' interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two, and it's important to understand that difference before you decide which product to use for a certain job.

The basic difference is as follows:

Hoists lift things. Winches pull things.

Winches are designed to pull loads horizontally across a relatively level surface, whereas hoists can be used to lift loads vertically and suspend them in mid-air.

Hoisting vs Winching Diagram

Important: If you're pulling a load up a steep slope - where the load would descend the slope due to gravity if unsupported - this is classified as a lifting operation and requires the use of a hoist, not a winch.

Can a winch be used as a hoist?

Generally speaking, no. It is not safe to use a standard winch to lift loads up off the ground, as it wasn't designed for this purpose and there is a risk that the load will be dropped.

One of the key differences between winches and hoists lies in their braking systems.

  • Winches normally use dynamic brakes that are specifically designed to support rolling loads, not lift dead weights. The gears of a dynamic braking system automatically lock when pulling a load, but lifting a weight vertically can overwhelm the strength of this system, causing the load to slip and potentially damaging the gears.

  • Hoists use mechanical brakes that are specifically designed to lock and support the load you're lifting. This system is far better suited to vertical lifting, and unlike winches, most hoists are fitted with load limiters to prevent you from attempting to lift a weight that exceeds the hoist's WLL (Working Load Limit).

However, there is some overlap: certain winching products are designed to double up as hoists. For instance, SafetyLiftinGear's Electric Winch (available in 110 volt or 240 volt configurations) can be used as a winch with a pulling capacity of 800kg...or as a hoist with a lifting capacity of 500kg.

Electric Winch

Buy or hire hoists/winches from SafetyLiftinGear.com

Now that you know the difference between hoists and winches, use the following links to buy or hire the product you need:

Hoists & Other Lifting Equipment


Any other questions? Get in touch with the SafetyLiftinGear team!


We are proud to now be distributors of KONG Climbing, Rope Access, and Height Safety products! Based in Italy, KONG have been producing top-quality height safety and climbing equipment since 1830, they're known for their excellent products which is why we now supply their equipment.

They supply innovative and revolutionary designed products that make all your working at height tasks much easier and safer. We only ever supply products from high-quality manufacturers who create products to the highest standards. These products give our already extensive range of Rope Access and Height Safety products a massive boost, you can now browse through even more of our specialist products. 

If you're interested in seeing our range of KONG climbing and rope access equipment you can click here. We have a fantastic range that is suited to fit a range of different applications so you should be able to find what you need. Or to learn more about some of the products we supply and why they are so revolutionary, keep reading. 

Kong Back-up Fall Arrester

This revolutionary KONG fall arrested can follow the operator in both directions and stop the potential fall that anyone working at height is at risk of. 



KONG Duck Rope Clamp

This innovative emergency rope clamp is the first and only clamp that also works on flat and tubular slings from 10 to 15mm. 


KONG Frog Connector

This frog connector uses a revolutionary design that allows it to use an automatic clamping action that engages when it touches the anchor point. 


KONG Futura Hand Ascender Right Hand

This right-hand ascender is small enough to sit comfortably in a hand allowing you grab the product as if you were grabbing the actual rope.

KONG Heavy Duty 60kN Screwgate Karabiner

This is one of the strongest connectors in the world with 60kN load being able to lift around 6 cars! You can reply on this high tensile carbon steel carabiner. 

KONG Ovalone DNA Twistlock Karabiner

A special "helical-shaped" connector with a twisted carbon steel body means it is ideal when dealing with an "offset" load. 


If you have any questions about our new KONG range we are more than happy to help, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team. If you need advice on which products best suit your project, contact us today. 


hydraulic cylinders

If you're in need of hydraulic cylinders you'll be excited to learn we have reduced the prices of our clearance stock even further!

Now our clearance range of high-quality hydraulic cylinders is reduced by up to 30% to make way for new stock. This is an exciting deal for anyone who needs a hydraulic cylinder. All of our cylinders get tested prior to dispatch and come with a 12-month warranty! 


What is a hydraulic cylinder used for?

Hydraulic cylinders are great for lifting heavy loads safely and easily. They use a linear motion for a range of applications - anything that may require lifting or pushing. Hydraulic cylinders are frequently used in manufacturing and construction environments where with lifting and pushing movement of heavy items is used regularly. 


If you have any questions about our Hydraulic cylinders feel free to get in touch.  We are always more than happy to advise you on your projects, so if you need some more information about any of the products we provide please do not hesitate to contact us today.  



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