Stand Up to Falls: Learn the ABCD’s of Fall Protection

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A fall at work can be terrible. But, a fall from heights in the midst of an already dangerous job can be devastating. Do you know how to properly inspect your fall protection gear to ensure it is secure, compliant with OSHA regulations and comfortable?

A typical Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) incorporates three components often described as the ABC’s of fall protection. The anchorage/anchorage connector, body support and connecting device, when used together, form a complete fall arrest system for maximum worker protection. But don’t forget about another required component of any fall protection program, when working at heights — the descent, rescue and retrieval of a fallen worker.

3M acquired Capital Safety from KKR in 2015 to expand the fall protection portfolio.


Anchors are a secure point of attachment. Anchorage connectors vary by industry, job, type of installation and structure. They must be able to support the intended loads of a personal fall arrest system and provide a sufficient factor of safety for fall arrest.

Your gear is only as good as the anchor it’s attached to! Have you checked if it is up to date and in good working order? It might be time to trade it in and trade up to something better.

Body Support

Body support is typically a full body harness. Harnesses help to distribute fall forces over the upper thighs, pelvis, chest and shoulders during a fall arrest event. They also provide a connection point on the worker for the personal fall arrest system when working at heights.

Harness selection is an important equipment choice you can make for your crew! Make sure you select harnesses that can help protect your workers when performing work in their specific environments. Worker comfort and compliance with local, state and federal regulations are also key.


Connectors such as shock absorbing lanyards or self-retracting lifelines connect a worker’s harness to the anchorage.

Descent & Rescue

These are devices used to raise or lower a fallen worker to safety or retrieve them from a confined space.

For those in need of rescue, time is of the essence to help ensure a safe and effective rescue. Choose the right descent and rescue solution for your application.

Check back next week as we explore another safety topic as part of National Safety Month.