Swing or pendulum falls

What is a swing or pendulum fall?

A swing fall is one in which, due to the poor design of the solution or to the improper use of the work equipment, the falling worker swings from side to side in relation to the anchor device to which he/she is secured. Observe the following sequence of drawings:

The swinging creates a serious risk of striking the ground and the lifeline installed may even be rendered useless. Furthermore, it could have the following consequences:

  • It considerably increases the safety clearance required to arrest the fall.
  • The worker may incur extremely serious injury due to the actual swinging effect.
  • During the swinging, the anchor device (lanyard or self-retracting cable) may rub against a sharp edge and may even break.

For two-pitched roofs in which the lifeline is installed on the ridge, swinging can be prevented in one of two ways, always depending on the ratio between the distance from the line to the edge and the height of the building. Take note:


Swinging can be prevented by installing an anchor post as shown in the diagram, providing a simple and cost-effective solution to the problem. The greater the distance between the lifeline and the edge from which the swinging would start, the larger the number of anchor posts that need to be installed.

Líneas de vida: Poste antibalanceo


When there is a considerable distance between the ridge and the edge and it is not possible to prevent swinging through the use of anti-pendulum anchors, then lines shall be installed. To determine when to mount this type of line, account should be taken of the height of the building

Linea de vida antibalanceo

Concepts about fall protection systems