Fall Arrest Blocks

Fall arrest blocks are a must-have for anyone working at height. A convenient yet competent method of preventing deadly falls, fall arrest blocks makes a range of jobs safer and easier.

Cromwell stocks professional-grade fall arrest blocks, from trusted brands such as 3M® and Ridgegear® used by industry experts around the globe.

What are fall arrest blocks?

Fall arrest blocks can also be referred to as self-retracting lifelines, fall arrest devices, inertia blocks, retractable lanyards, fall arresters, and sala blocks. No matter the name, these lifesaving devices all perform one basic function - prevent user injury by arresting a fall.

They consist of a retractable lifeline that is typically made from strong wire rope. This rope is stored in a reel within an ultra-durable housing that can be attached to a user-worn harness and a secure guard. The reel of the lifeline is spring wound which keeps the wire under light tension.

In the event of a fall, fall arrest blocks release the lifeline from the housing until it reaches a certain velocity. At this point, a strong 'brake' mechanism is engaged, which swiftly brings the user to a stop - preventing and arresting the fall.

Why buy fall arrest blocks?

A life saving device, fall arrest blocks are a cost-effective way to prevent injury or death for yourself or your staff.

They have a long working range that doesn't impede working effectiveness, and their compact, lightweight design makes them excellent for tight work and work where a short mobility arc is essential.

When are fall arrest blocks used?

Fall arrest blocks are used throughout a range of industries, especially those that involve working on hazardous surfaces or working at altitude.

They should be anchored above the user when possible, as this will provide the best working range and the quickest arrest in the event of a fall.

If you're looking for the right type of fall arrest block for your job but aren't sure about the right one for your needs, feel free to ask our experts for specialised advice.

Considerations when choosing fall arrest blocks

• Material - Fall arrest blocks can be found in a variety of materials - most commonly galvanised wire and stainless steel wire. The material you need depends on the working conditions and the likelihood of the material to deteriorate in those conditions. For users who work in very harsh environments, fully sealed fall arrest blocks can be purchased.

• Lifeline length - Ensure the length of your fall arrest block is appropriate for your working location.

Fall arrest block jargon buster

Safety standards to look out for:

EN341 - Outlines standards for personal fall protective equipment & descender devices including fall arrest blocks.
EN360 - Outlines the minimum static load of fall arrest blocks - 15kN for synthetic rope lifelines and 12kN for wire rope ifelines.
EN362 - Similar to EN341, EN362 outlines standardised test methods, requirements, and marking for carabiners on fall arrest blocks.


When are fall arrest systems required?
Fall arrest systems are required whenever the user is working on or near fragile surfaces, narrow ledges, slanted or uneven roofs, or other scenarios when falling is a real and dangerous possibility. Fall arrest systems should be used in conjunction with the appropriate PPE.