Self-Retracting Lifelines, Laynards and Fall Protection

laynard2Self-retracting lifelines for fall protection have come a long way in terms of becoming more efficient and light-weight—but the basic principles of testing and maintenance for these important tools remain the cornerstone for fall protection.

As OSHA apply says, “Of uppermost importance is the reduction in strength caused by certain tie-offs (such as using knots, tying around sharp edges) and maximum permitted free fall distance. Also, to be stressed are the importance of inspections prior to use, the limitations of the equipment, and unique conditions at the worksite which may be important in determining the type of system to use.”

The manufacture’s recommendations for specific equipment is an excellent way to start the testing and training process. However, basic safety measures that construction managers need to know for self-retracting lifelines can be summarized:

  • Application limits;
  • Proper anchoring and tie-off techniques;
  • Estimation of free fall distance, including determination of deceleration distance, and total fall distance to prevent striking a lower level;
  • Methods of use; and inspection and storage of the system.

There are specific standards as to the weight and breaking strength requirements of laynards to prevent a fall of no greater than 6 feet.

Needless to say, careless or improper use of self-retracting lifelines can result in serious injury or even death. Construction managers who take the proper precautions to train and encourage workers to use the lifelines properly will go a long way to make this equipment the safety tools they were intended to be. For more information, contact Diversified Safety Services.




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