Study of a pictogram for the marking of fall arresters in horizontal use

Project No. BGAG 480020


completed 12/2008


One of the most recent developments in the area of "personal protective equipment against falls from a height" concerns the optional testing of the protective equipment on fall arresters in horizontal use. According to the test principles developed for this purpose, which are to be applied as part of or supplementary to type examinations, affected items of personal protective equipment (PPE) against falls from a height must bear a warning in combination with a pictogram which is to indicate as clearly as possible to the user whether the PPE is suitable for the desired horizontal use. In this project, a number of draft pictograms were to be reviewed for their ease of comprehension.


A series of pictograms were developed. These were first presented to experts for evaluation. A number of draft designs were selected based upon the experts' opinions, and were then presented to users for evaluation.


The results reveal major comprehension difficulties on the part of users. The responses demonstrate that both the warning pictograms and a prohibition pictogram were not adequately understood. The prohibition pictogram was correctly interpreted as meaning that use of a possible item of PPE against falls from a height was permissible in situations involving unfavourable edges; the general meaning, i.e. that horizontal use of the PPE was not permissible, was however not understood to the degree necessary in this case. The title "horizontal use" was not recognized to the extent necessary in the context of the warning pictograms. Instead, individual aspects of the image content were noted, whereas the overall message was not registered sufficiently clearly.

Last Update:

5 Jul 2010


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e.V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • BGAG - Institut Arbeit und Gesundheit der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung
  • BGIA - Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

Gestaltung von Arbeit und Technik, -Verschiedenes-


Gerätesicherheit, Persönliche Schutzausrüstung

Description, key words:

fall arresters, pictograms, evaluation