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Fall Accidents

There is always a risk of falling when working at heights. The construction and real estate sectors have far too high an accident rate; Industry, Wind Power, Agriculture and Civil Engineering are other industries that are commonly affected. The outcome is often serious. To prevent fall accidents, Ahlsell wants to contribute increased knowledge of protection and safety on site.

Protective equipment needs to be used the right way and in the right environment to fulfill its purpose. An annual inspection is also important to ensure that all equipment has maintained its high quality.

Active protection against falls

Protection against fall accidents is based on factors such as:

Fall protection training
Make sure that everyone who works at height has a good knowledge of the risks, the equipment and its use.

Pre-use inspection
Check that everything is working and that nothing is malfunctioning or damaged – always discard damaged equipment.

Continuous inspection
All fall protection equipment must be checked by a certified person at least once a year.

Health & Safety Fall Accidents Ahlsell

What is fall protection?

Fall protection is protecting a person from falling from a higher to a lower level.

Fall protection equipment is a work tool with important benefits that increase productivity and reduce risks. The equipment can be personal or permanently mounted and must prevent fall accidents.

What are the risks of fall protection?

  • Using fall protection improperly or in the wrong environment.
  • Not knowing the differences between, for example, a fall arrest block and a fall protection lanyard.
  • The equipment is worn and the annual follow-up inspection is overdue.
  • All fall protection must be inspected every year.

Industries/roles commonly at risk in fall protection

The construction and real estate sectors are at risk of fall accidents on a daily basis, and have far too high a fatality rate related to falls. Industry, wind power, agriculture and civil engineering are some examples of others. But in virtually all industries, there is a risk of injury if you fall from a higher to a lower level.

What does the law say?

AFS 1999:3 Building and Civil Engineering Work.

  • Protection must be provided when the fall height is 2 m or more or when there is a risk of falling.
  • Prevent work-related health issues and accidents.
  • Achieve a good work environment.
  • The law governs issues concerning who is liable for the work performed.
  • Fall protection is required for all work at heights above/below two meters.

This can be done in different ways:

  1. Collectively with guard rails
  2. Fixed systems with horizontal or vertical installations
  3. Individually with personal fall protection equipment
  • From 1 January 2015, anyone who performs building and construction work where there is a risk of falling from a height of 2 meters or more could face fines if the rules are not followed.


The employer’s responsibility

  • To ensure that the necessary equipment and instructions for proper use of the equipment is found at the workplace. This is a legal requirement and failure to comply is a punishable offense.
  • To provide equipment (AFS 2001:3, regulation on the use of Personal Protective Equipment)
  • To provide training (AFS 2001:3, regulation on the use of Personal Protective Equipment)


The employee’s responsibility

According to the Work Environment Act, the employee is obliged to use the equipment and follow the instructions given by the employer.

How to protect yourself against falls

Fall protection training is a good foundation for ensuring work safety where there is a risk of falling.

Make sure that a risk assessment is conducted before the work is performed:

Stop – Think – Execute

  • Do I have the instructions required for the work?
  • Do I have the necessary knowledge?
  • Do I have the right equipment?
  • Can I perform the work safely?
  • Am I physically and mentally able to do the work today?
  • Have I thought through all the steps?
  • Using the buddy system, has a colleague double-checked my equipment?
  • Is rescue possible if an accident were to occur?
  • Avoid working alone if possible

ABCs of fall protection

    1. Anchorage point (EN 795)

Usually referred to as the connection point. Must have a static resistance > 12kN (1,200 kg) for 3 min.

    2. Lanyard (EN 353, 355, 354, 360)

The link that connects the harness and the anchorage point.

    3. Body harness (EN 361)

Personal protective equipment worn by the user. Its function is to hold the user in the event of a fall.


  • Before use – check that everything works, no damage
  • All fall protection equipment must be inspected every 12 months
  • Inspection performed by Qualified (certified) person.
  • All damaged equipment – taken out of service, disposed of
  • Ahlsell can help you with all your fall protection inspection needs

Choice of fall protection when working with a risk of falling from two meters

  1. Guard rail
  2. Work platform
  3. Work cage
  4. Posture
  5. Safety net
  6. Personal protective equipment

Fall protection training/Risk analysis

Ahlsell offers fall protection training courses and risk analysis at all Ahlsell locations in Sweden.

Training is usually provided in a place designated by you, so you avoid costs such as travel and hotel stays. These training courses are conducted by our partner NUAB.

  • CE-certified portable training platform
  • Real-world training/education
  • Instructors with many years of practical experience

Other risk areas

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