1. Australia
  2. 3M Safety
  3. Safety Stories
  4. Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 37.
3M Safety


  • share

    Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 37.

    June 13, 2019

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 37:
    Fall Arrest vs Fall Restraint in Fall Protection.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 37:
    Fall Arrest vs Fall Restraint in Fall Protection.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 37:
    Fall Arrest vs Fall Restraint in Fall Protection.


    In this episode Rick Millar, the former Technical Manager for 3M Fall Protection in Australia and New Zealand discusses Fall Arrest versus Fall Restraint in Fall Protection with host Mark Reggers.

    The complexities of fall protection go far beyond equipment selection and use. When working at height we need to be aware of the different systems and work methods available, i.e. Fall Arrest and Fall Restraint. While they may sound similar, there are differences that need to be understood to select the appropriate fall protection solution to ensure the safety of personnel required to work at height.




    Guest Bio:

    In a career spanning 42 years in fall protection, Rick Millar (pictured left with host Mark Reggers) originally trained as a Production Engineer, Production Superintendent and Production Manager in the manufacture of Plastic and Metal Safety Products.

    In 1975 Rick took up a position in a small company designing and manufacturing height safety equipment. Rick has also worked for several large manufacturers in the safety and materials handling sphere involving himself in design, research & development, testing and advisory services, in addition to his interest in manufacturing.

    In 1976 Rick assisted in the development and original drafting of the Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1891.1 Series and AS 2626: 1982, originally the precursor for AS/ NZS 1891.4 Care and Use of Fall Protection Equipment as part of the SF015 committee where he holds the position of drafting leader. Rick was also recently appointed as the Chairman of the International Standards ISO/TC94/SC4 committee for fall protection.

    Rick who not long ago retired as the Technical Manager of 3M Fall Protection ANZ is well qualified to provide information and advice on fall protection Standards, products, systems and safe use. Rick currently serves as the Technical Chair of the Working at Heights Association (WAHA) in a voluntary capacity.

    LinkedIn Profile


    In this episode, Mark & Rick discuss the following:

    • When is a worker considered to be working at height?
    • What is the best way for a PCBU/employer to protect workers at height?
    • What is fall arrest?
    • What is fall restraint?
    • Should workplaces be trying to work in fall restraint rather than fall arrest?
    • What is the difference between restraint technique and total restraint?
    • I have heard of fall arrest rated equipment, is there fall restraint rated equipment?
    • Where can workplaces go to get more detailed information if they have workers working at height?

    Fall protection is a complicated issue and details of your local laws and regulations, codes of practice and standards all need to be considered and understood. There are basic rules and principles that need to be followed to increase the safety of people working at height, if you are unable to engineer out the hazards and the need to work at height, then there are two common systems of fall protection to be taken into consideration. The first is called Fall Restraint, where the fall protection system prevents the employee from reaching the position where a fall may be possible. The second is Fall Arrest, where the fall protection system must assume that a fall is possible. Even when using a Restraint system, all equipment must be fall arrest rated. Tune in as we discuss fall arrest versus fall restraint in greater depth, what they are, how and when they are used and how to determine which is the best solution.


    Additional Resources:

    Contact a 3M Safety Specialist at scienceofsafetyanz@mmm.com for more information.