What's the difference between a fall arrest device and a work positioning device?

The difference between a work positioning device and a fall arrest device, generally, is that a fall arrest device is designed to catch a fall usually with a minimum mass requirement and distance of travel before engagement, or what we refer to as a factor. A work positioning device, generally, is intended to hold a person in a particular position, with a given limited range of movement, all while keeping tension in the system. Put simply, a fall arrest device will be tested by dropping a mass a certain distance before engaging. A work positioning device will be engaged when loaded with a mass.

We want to help provide clarity around some of the questions we are hearing about the Rope Runner Pro specifically.

As many of you know, this is a device that was invented by Kevin Bingham. Notch and Kevin worked together to bring out the second generation, the Rope Runner Pro. The performance characteristics were driven by Kevin and his desire to build the best work positioning device for arborists to work effectively and efficiently in the canopy. This high-performance device, when operated properly, provides unmatched efficiency in the canopy.

As a work positioning device, the Rope Runner Pro is not designed to catch a fall. It is to be tended constantly, keeping slack out of the system. Descending safely requires active manipulation of a properly adjusted device. A fall with slack in the system, or a factored fall, is not part of the performance expectation of the Rope Runner Pro. If there is a chance of this type of fall while you are off the ground, we recommend using a fall arrest device.

While a Rope Runner Pro is a great tool for working efficiently and effectively in the canopy, it has limitations that need to be understood. It's not intended to catch dynamic falls. As with all work positioning devices, avoiding slack in the system while working is essential. If there is any chance of a fall, use a backup approved as a fall arrest device. A thorough reading of the User Instructions will help you make sure you have your device set up properly and that it will work as intended.

If you have any questions or would like more information on proper use of the Rope Runner Pro, please contact us at 1-800-525-8873.