Swing Fall

Last updated: February 3, 2019

What Does Swing Fall Mean?

Swing fall is defined as a pendulum-like motion. Swing fall hazard is very common among workers who work at height.

If any worker connected to an anchor falls from height, he or she starts to swing back and forth and could potentially strike a heavy object. Though these workers wear personal fall arrest systems, they are highly vulnerable to this hazard and must take it into consideration while assessing the safety risk.

Safeopedia Explains Swing Fall

Swing fall hazards cannot be taken lightly, as they can be potentially deadly. This risk can be reduced if workers stay within a certain distance of an anchor point and do not go over the edge.

The free fall should not be more than six feet. Therefore, the anchor point should be as high as the D-ring of a harness so that a worker can avoid swaying by staying within 30 degrees of the anchor point. However, there is no fixed parameter that employers can follow to keep workers within the 30-degree safe zone.

If an anchor point is running parallel to the edge, trolley-type beam clamps should be used, as they roll along the beam as a worker moves. However, this is not applicable if the anchor is static. Sometimes anchor points keep changing the location, which makes the marking of the safe zone impracticable.

Employers should also take responsibility for making their workers aware of the hazards of swing fall. Fall protection training is necessary for personnel. Furthermore, workers should be constantly monitored so that they move carefully and stay within the safe zone of an anchor. Workers must be informed about the safe zone to avoid swing fall risk. The most significant reason for swing fall is that workers do not know it exists and fail to take it into account.


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