There are two ways to protect individual users working at height: fall arrest systems and restraint systems. The aim of this post is to outline the considerations to be made when choosing between the two, and to explain the differences.
In both cases, a user wears a safety harness that is connected to the fall protection solution with a lanyard. For example, users can connect themselves to a horizontal lifeline or to a single anchor point.
Both systems require sufficient user knowledge (which can be acquired through training) and approved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The difference is this: a fall arrest solution on your building protects users in case they fall, and a restraint system prevents users from getting into a position from where a fall could occur.
Obviously, the latter option is preferable from a safety point-of-view, but in reality there are plenty of scenarios in which work needs to be done in the proximity of the roof edge.