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A Look Into The History of Fall Protection

A Look Into The History of Fall Protection

Fall protection has come a long way throughout history, and with each advancement, the safety of workers has greatly improved!

In the early days of industrialization fall protection barely existed, but when it did, it primarily consisted of ropes and harnesses made from natural fibers such as hemp or cotton. These early forms of fall protection were not only uncomfortable to wear but also lacked the strength and durability needed to ensure worker safety.

Golden Gate Bridge construction workers standing in a safety net. 1936. |  San francisco golden gate bridge, Golden gate bridge, Golden gateAs industrialization progressed, so did fall protection technology. In the early 1900s, safety nets made from canvas or hemp became more common in construction and other high-risk industries. These safety nets were able to catch falling workers, preventing injuries and deaths caused by falls. However, they had their limitations, as they required proper installation and maintenance, and some workers still fell through the gaps.

Pacific Car and Foundry Co. worker tightening cable during Space Needle  construction, 1961 - Museum of History and Industry - University of  Washington Digital CollectionsIn the 1950s, personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) started to be used. These systems consisted of a body harness and lanyard, and were worn by the worker to arrest a fall. These systems were a significant improvement over previous forms of fall protection, as they allowed workers to move freely and work at height without the need for a safety net.


In the following decades, advances in materials science led to the development of stronger and more durable harnesses and lanyards, as well as other fall protection equipment such as retractable lifelines and self-retracting lanyards.

With today's advanced fall protection tools, workers can stay safe and comfortable on the job. Many of the tools and equipment available today are designed to be lightweight, comfortable, and easy to use, ensuring that workers are less likely to take shortcuts or neglect to use the equipment properly. High-quality fall protection equipment can be the difference between life and death in high-risk industries and it's crucial to use equipment that meets OSHA standards.

KwikSafety TORNADO Safety Harness & BOA Safety Lanyard


In conclusion, the history of fall protection has shown us that we have come a long way in terms of safety and comfort for workers. From early safety nets and harnesses to full body safety harnesses and retractable lifelines, the fall protection industry has seen many advancements in technology. Today, workers have access to a wide range of high-quality fall protection tools, equipment, and devices that can provide them with the safety they need to do their jobs effectively and securely!



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