DGUV Rule 112-198 (formerly BGR 198)
The use of personal fall protection equipment

DGUV Rule 112-198 (formerly BGR 198) sets down binding provisions for the "Use of personal fall protection equipment". This rule provides a clear overview of all the components that belong to the category personal fall protection equipment (PPE) and how these need to be labelled and certified. These regulations are introduced by a comprehensive and precise definition of all the individual components - ranging from a safety harness to an energy absorber and PPE. This rule also stipulates that employers must provide their employees with the required PPE.

Arresting systems in accordance with DGUV

DGUV Rule 112-198 distinguishes between four basic types of arresting system:

  • Guided type fall arrester with a flexible anchor line
  • Guided type fall arrester with a rigid anchor line
  • Arresting system with a self-retracting lifeline
  • Arresting system with an energy absorber

All of these arresting systems are defined by the fact that they do not necessarily prevent a free fall but instead arrest a fall to protect the user from fatal injury caused by hitting the ground.

Selection of the right PPE

The core of DGUV Rule 112-198 is the chapter on assessing and selecting fall protection equipment. Alongside a list of all the required PPE labels, this rule also provides a good overview of all the different types of application and the respective clearance distances. The basic rule is: The clearance distance is calculated by adding a safety margin of 1 metre to the respective arresting distance.

In addition, the rule also contains recommendations for combining different equipment components. It is pointed out, for example, that helmets with a forked chin strap in accordance with EN 397 provide protection against serious head injuries as the result of a fall.

Usage and service life of PPE equipment

Following a detailed description of the various types of equipment and anchorage devices, DGUV Rule 112-198 goes on to point out that PPE only has a limited service life, resp. is of limited durability. Attention is drawn to the need to have this equipment regularly inspected by a qualified person:

“The entrepreneur must have personal fall arrest protection equipment checked by a qualified person as required by the respective implementation and operating conditions – at least every 12 months – to ensure that it is in perfect condition.”

ABS Safety also offers a full range of PPE with a lot of different models to choose from.

Painter in a cherrypicker secured using an ABS Comfort fall protection harness