EN 363 "Personal fall protection equipment - Personal fall protection systems" describes areas of application for personal fall protection equipment (PPE) and also defines the components and individual parts used in a personal fall protection system. EN 363 is an important link to other standards that are applicable in this area.
A personal fall protection system consists of a combination of different separable or inseparable components. The components must be suitable for the respective area of application and may only be used in combination according to the manufacturer's specifications.
Here is a list of the basic components:
EN 363 distinguishes between two basic system types: Those that prevent falls from the outset and those designed to arrest a fall once it has happened. These two different types of system are briefly described in the following. For further information, please refer to the respective entry in this Manual for each type of system.
In accordance with the principle of preventing accidents (DGUV Regulation 1), systems that prevent a free fall are to be given preference over those simply designed to arrest a fall.
A retention system is designed to confine the user’s scope of movement to specific areas. This prevents users from falling, if the system is used correctly.
An arresting system is designed to arrest a fall, whereby you should take into account the effect the sudden braking of a fall may have on the human body.
Systems that bring workers into position support the users by putting strain on the system. Work can be carried out without the need for users to use their hands to hold on. This prevents falls.
Cable-based access systems allow users to reach their workplaces by abseiling either up or down. These systems must be used in such a way as to prevent or arrest a free fall.
A rescue system serves to carry out a rescue operation - either to rescue yourself or other individuals. When using a rescue system, it is important to prevent free falls.
The personal fall protection systems listed in EN 363 are designed to protect users from serious danger, i.e. the risk of physical injury or death. The handling of these systems is not always self-explanatory - i.e. a certain risk is involved.
As a result, employers are required to ensure that their employees are accordingly instructed in how to use the equipment prior to using it for the first time. This requirement is the direct result of Section 12 of the German Act on the Implementation of Measures of Occupational Safety and Health and Section 4 DGUV Regulation 1.