Self-retracting lanyard/lifelines (SRL) are extremely important devices for workers in elevated workspaces where mobility and fall protection are required. A SRL fall arrest system can save lives but can also be dangerous when not used properly. Here are some tips which will help.
Safely Using an SRL
- An SRL is to be used as part of a complete fall arrest system
- You should always be trained on the proper use and selection of an SRL before using
- Always verify the SRL is designed for your weight (most are designed for a person not weighing more than 310lbs, including tools and equipment). Always check manufacturer recommendation.
- Only one person may be connected to a single SRL at any time
- Proper selection is key to determining acceptable fall clearance
- Locking speed can be affected when working in confined spaces such as shifting sand or low-pitched roofs
- Avoid creating a pendulum situation where you could swing into the ground or other objects. A good rule of thumb is to use a 2 to 1 ratio. Whatever the height is above you, only travel half that distance either way.
- A clear path is required to arrest a fall
- Additional precautions maybe required when working in hazardous environments (heat, extreme cold, sharp edges, corrosive chemicals, explosive or toxic gasses)
- A rescue plan should always be in place when using fall protection equipment
Inspection, Service & Storage
- Routinely inspect all components
- Check for loose screws and bent or damaged parts
- Check for corrosion, cuts or burns
- Check the connecting hooks or carabiners for damage
- With each use, pull sharply on the snap hook to verify it locks up
- Periodically clean the housing with water and mild detergent
- Clean the lifeline with water and mild detergent and air dry. Do not dry with heat. Excessive dirt and contaminant build-up can cause the SRL to malfunction.
- Do not disassemble the SRL or lubricate any of the parts. Always have it serviced by an authorized service center.
- Store the SRL in a cool, dry, and clean environment, away from direct sunlight. Thoroughly inspect SRL after prolonged storage.
- Always follow manufacturers recommendation when cleaning and storing
- If a subject falls, immediately take SRL out of service. If the fall indicator has deployed, return it to the manufacturer