Professionals in the fall protection industry understand the importance of proper equipment to protect workers in dangerous worksite scenarios. A particular type of fall arrest system that is designed to absorb the shock of the fall is a safety lanyard. It is a vital piece of equipment for individuals who routinely carry out job tasks at heights of 6 feet or greater above ground.
Fall Protection Devices
When the risk of a fatal fall is not as serious at lower heights, various devices are used to protect workers, such as lanyards, harnesses, belts, and deceleration devices. By and large, they are used for restraint and positioning purposes, but are not designed to protect workers who may fall from very high locations.
The safety lanyard, or shock absorbing lanyard, is the type of device suggested by OSHA to restrain the worker and absorb shock, minimizing the distance of their fall. This device has undergone testing that proves its ability to maintain the safety of the worker, particularly when used in conjunction with a full body harness.
Proper Force Distribution
Although full body harness enables a worker to remain in a position for carrying out hands-free tasks, it alone does not arrest or prevent a fall without a harness. In order to remain in a stationary position while working, the worker must wear a harness. A shock absorbing lanyard combined with a harness enables more even force distribution throughout the body and keeps the arresting forces leading to a dangerous fall to a minimum.
Lanyard Design and Construction
Properly constructed lanyards are short in length and made of webbing, rope, or stainless steel. They enable a worker to comfortably stretch but also remain safe if a freefall occurs. Lanyards relax and retract without interfering with the worker’s activities. The elasticized webbing of a safety lanyard enables it to expand to its full length.
These safety lanyards should be used anytime a worker is performing a dangerous task at an elevated height (greater than 6 feet). They are ideal tools used in conjunction with a harness to prevent the disastrous outcome of a fall.
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