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How Do Fall Arrest Lanyards Work?

Did you know that a wire rope lanyard designed for fall arrest is not the same as a wire rope sling that is designed for lifting? 

When used as a fall arrest lanyard, wire rope by itself is unable to absorb any type of energy. Because there is no elasticity or stretch, this will subject a worker to a injury or even a potential amount of fatal arrest-force should they happen to fall while wearing it.

When wire rope is used as a connecting device, it is absolutely essential that a Personal Energy Absorber is used along with it.  A PEA should actually be used with any lanyard or connecting device that allows for potential free fall, despite the fact that the webbing or rope of some lanyard types does actually absorb small amounts of energy. 

Most jurisdictions, including Saskatchewan, prohibit fall forces in excess of 8 kilonewtons. Therefore, employers are legally required to ensure that a personal fall arrest system used by their employees is set up in order to prevent arrest forces in excess of 1800 pounds.

The amount of force a human body can withstand has not technically been verified by modern science. Less arrest force is generally easier on a person's body than more fall force. Additional information on this topic can be found here.

Wire rope slings should never be used as connecting devices in a Personal Fall Arrest System; it will subject a falling worker to more fall force than a proper energy-absorbing lanyard would.

Northern Strands provides training on both the proper use of fall arrest equipment and the proper use of rigging equipment. If you would like more information one either of these programs, please contact us.

Contact us at:
training@northernstrands.com  
306-242-7073

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