The paper describes a local under-frequency load shedding and load restoration scheme, that exploits frequency and Rate-of-Change-of-Frequency (ROCOF) measurements produced by Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) as detectors of a large contingency. The paper further discusses the appropriateness of using the synchrophasor model for estimating ROCOF during fast transients following a severe generation-load imbalance. The performance of the proposed relaying scheme is compared with a frequency-only based strategy, by means of a real-time digital simulator implementing the time-domain full-replica model of the IEEE 39 bus system.