Working high above the ground is a part of many jobs, from residential/commercial construction, to bridge construction, and oilfield work. Having the right type of fall-arrest systems in use is essential for the safety of workers as well as for compliance with all OSHA regulations.
With that in mind, there are many different makes, models, and types of fall arrest safety devices on the market. One of the most commonly used components of top systems is a self retracting lifeline.
These lifelines are ideal in situations where the workers have to move around varying distances from the anchor. The lifelines will extend up the maximum distance indicated on the specific line, just as with a standard lanyard. However, unlike a lanyard, the self retracting lifeline will spool back up into the case by automatically winding around the internal drum.
No Extra Line
Standard lanyards can pose a risk on the job site, especially when there are multiple workers in the same location. Those extra lines, even with the six-foot lanyard, are going to create complications in not only freedom of movement, but also in watching out for other lines.
The mechanism in the self retracting lifeline eliminates this risk of lines getting wrapped around items or even crossed with each other.
The best self retracting lifeline provides the worker with a system to self-rescue. The fall arrest system can be set up with a self-rescue pulley that the worker can activate to pull his or herself back up.
While this is not always required, the use of this system makes rescue easier for co-workers as well. There may be a slight increase in the risk of swing after a fall using the self-retracting lanyard. Choosing the right option in a lanyard material from wire to webbing will minimize this risk.
Less Fall Distance Required
The self retracting lifeline system detects motion on the lanyard and will active the braking system when the speed of approximately four and half feet per second is detected. This can happen in less than two feet, which is much less than the standard six feet with a shock-absorbing lanyard.
This reduction of fall distance from using self retracting lifeline helps to reduce the risk for the worker in making contact with the ground or objects on or around the site. These systems also have a shorter arresting distance overall, only 54 inches and they slow down the speed of the fall to decrease the risk of injury due to the sudden jolt at the end of even a shock-absorbing standard lanyard.
A Self retracting lifeline is a very valuable safety tool for use on any worksite.