Use of Personal Fall Protection Systems: NBR 17151

NBR 17151, dated January 2024, outlines the general requirements for instructions regarding the use, maintenance, periodic inspection, repair, marking, and packaging of equipment comprising personal fall protection systems (PFPS). The scope covers fall protection, rope access techniques, rescue, restraint and positioning during work. It does not cover specific requirements for individual equipment, recreational fall protection, or components not designed exclusively for fall protection.

Manufacturer’s responsibilities

Manufacturers must provide written instructions in Portuguese for each piece of equipment, system or subsystem. These instructions may be provided in printed, digital or electronic format. Clear, legible, and unambiguous instructions, including diagrams or illustrations where appropriate, are essential to ensure proper and safe use of the equipment.


Instructions must include information about the manufacturer, device description, purposes, uses, limitations, and warnings about medical conditions that affect user safety. It should also emphasize the need for trained personnel, an emergency plan, and prohibit unauthorized modifications or repairs. Users should be cautioned against exceeding equipment limitations, emphasizing individual use as appropriate.

Anchor system

Detailed instructions should be provided on the anchor system selected, its strength, suitability and location, and guidelines for connecting to the anchor system, if applicable. Users should be instructed in the proper use of attachment points, distinguishing between fall arrest and positioning systems.

Fall protection systems

Instruction should emphasize the importance of checking equipment before use, immediate disengagement in certain situations, and the need for post-fall inspection. Users should be informed of the critical role of the anchor point, potential hazards affecting equipment performance, and precautions for extreme conditions.

Maintenance instructions

Maintenance instructions should cover cleaning, disinfection (if applicable) and precautions to prevent damage during transport. Details of storage conditions, special maintenance methods, lubrication procedures and materials used in the manufacture of the equipment must be clearly stated.

Periodic inspections

Instructions for periodic inspections should emphasize the need for periodic evaluations by competent inspectors, specify the frequency of inspections, and emphasize the manufacturer’s recommended procedures. The recommended frequency for periodic inspections is at least once every 12 months according to NBR 16489. There should be a warning against unauthorized periodic inspections and a recommendation for initial inspections after purchase.

Record keeping and certification

Manufacturers should provide information on equipment model, type, identification marks, certification details (if applicable) and expiration dates. Users must be informed of the life expectancy of the equipment, taking into account conditions of use, storage, maintenance and environment. In the absence of a serial number, instructions must be provided for marking by the owner.