Flow visualisation of a cavitating hydrofoil as part of a preliminary test validation study for a large numerical and physical research project.

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Falling Objects Protection Structures


Heavy machinery that is operated in environments where falling objects can be a hazard are required to satisfy design standards for protection from falling objects. Existing design standards for falling objects protection are generally based on the impact of a defined lumped mass dropped from a specified height. In real world conditions however, the falling object may vary in size, weight and velocity, where the impact may be sharp or blunt depending on the geometry of the object. For these reasons, various real life drop loading situations may not be well represented by the current FOPS testing standards.

Protective structures exist in many forms depending on their modes of operation, operating conditions, and their exposure to the type of environment. Protection from the environment and fragment impacts would generally require an enclosed operator space. Protection from small to large falling objects would require a structurally sound and sufficiently sheltered space. If the structure deforms, the intrusion of the cabin space should not penetrate the operator. In addition, falling objects should not perforate the structure and enter the operator space.

Case examples can include:

  • falling rocks or flying fragments in mining and earth moving
  • falling crates, packaged goods and structures in industrial environments
  • falling trees, branches and logs in forestry

ISO 3449 Drop Test Simulation

Box/Pallet Drop Test Simulation

Searchable Keywords

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  2. Falling Object Protection Systems (FOPS)
  3. ISO ISO 3449
  4. Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS)
  5. ISO 3471
  6. Rock Slide Protective Structures (RSPS)
  7. PN-G-59001
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  10. Passive safety
  11. Cabin space intrusion
  12. VPS