Connectors attach the worker’s harness to the anchorage connector. Types will vary depending on whether the worker needs connecting for personal fall arrest or positioning and travel restriction.
A personal fall arrest connector is often a shock-absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline equipped with an energy-absorbing element to reduce the force transmitted to the user’s body in the event of a fall.
A positioning and travel restriction connector is usually a lanyard intended to reduce the potential for entering a fall hazard zone or for free falling from a distance of less than 600mm.
Lanyards can come in the form of positioning lanyards, which control where a worker can go to keep them from hazards, or shock-absorbing lanyards that contain an energy absorbing unit to limit fall arrest forces experienced by a worker during a fall.
Self-retracting lifelines retain tension on the lifeline at all times, staying out of the worker’s way while providing safety. This helps shorten the fall distance and minimize trip hazards, and also offers greater mobility and maneuverability, which may help increase productivity. Lengths range from 2 to 50 metres.
Vertical lifeline systems allow for safety, mobility and productivity in vertical climbing environments. They include rope grabs as well as cable-based ladder safety systems and can be portable or permanent, mobile or manual, assisted or non-assisted.
Lanyards and Self-Retracting Lifelines (SRLs)
When choosing a connecting device such as a lanyard or self-retracting lifeline, it's important to consider the conditions of your work environment. From harsh marine and mining, to oil and gas, to general industry, getting the best use out of a connecting device depends on selecting the right product for the application and the environment.
For general purpose applications that are indoors or in less-harsh environments, web material is appropriate. For extremely harsh environments, cable or Kevlar®/Nomex® fiber web offers extra durability and is suitable for abrasive or high-heat
Single leg styles are suitable for a single anchor point connection to work within a specific range of movement. A twin-leg style offers a protective connection as the worker moves from one anchor point to the next for 100% tie-off.
An energy absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline can be used.
If less clearance is present, the use of a self-retracting lifeline is recommended.
Vertical Lifeline Systems
Vertical environments require specialized systems selected for the specific application. Permanent systems need to stand-up to the elements for extended periods of time and require corrosion resistant galvanized or stainless steel construction, while temporary systems are often synthetic making them lightweight and easy to move from one location to another.
A permanent vertical fall protection system for often accessed structures such as ladders, towers or tanks that allows the worker to move up and down the entire height of the system. A sleeve connects the worker to the system and locks onto the cable in the event of a fall, allowing the user to regain their footing.
Consists of top and bottom entry/exit gates, rail joints, and multiple mounting bracket options designed to mount the rigid aluminum rail to the structure. A shuttle connects the worker to the system and locks onto the rail in the event of a fall, allowing the user to regain their footing.
Extremely tall or lengthy structures can be more easily accessed with an assisted system which provides weight relief to reduce worker fatigue and improve climbing longevity. Various styles of systems are available for both inside (wind turbine) and outside (oil rig) applications for added versatility.
Portable systems allow user to move up and down the entire height of the lifeline without disconnecting and having to find new tie-off points along the way. All-purpose synthetic type systems are standard, or choose wire rope cable systems for harsh environments. Mobile systems that automatically follow the user as well as manual systems that the user must fix in place for positioning or restraint are available.
These ladder mounted masts and posts are ideal for manhole entry and retrieval applications where a permanent fixed ladder exists. The systems simply attach to the underground ladder and provide an anchorage point for a winch or 3-way self-retracting lifeline.