Contact Person : Jenny Xing
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March 1, 2023
What is a self retracting device?
A self-retracting lanyard, also called a self-retracting lifeline or SRL, is a vertical fall protection lifeline that allows users to easily move around while keeping consistent tautness, effectively preventing falls. The lifeline, much like the seat and shoulder belt in a car, also pulls out and retracts easily.
What will be the new ANSI Z359.14-2021 SRD types and classes?
Both types and classes were overhauled in 2021: "types" are SRL, SRL-P for personal devices meant to be installed on the user's full body harness, or SRL-R for devices with rescue/retrieval functions, and "classes" are Class 1 or Class 2. The SRD class is now applied to acceptable anchorage locations. Class 1 devices are suitable for at or above dorsal D-ring anchorage locations. Class 2 devices are suitable for above, at, or up to 5 feet below the dorsal D-ring anchorage locations AND must be leading edge rated. So, if your jobsite has edge exposures and you need a leading edge SRL or SRL-LE, you will be looking for a Class 2 device in compliance with ANSI/ASSP Z359.14-2021!
When do we need to use ANSI Z359.14-2021 Self-Retracting Devices?
Self-retracting lifelines are used in situations where work at height is executed and where users work in fall arrest or fall restraint situations.
Level 4 – Fall Arrest
When all other solutions are infeasible, a company must consider fall arrest. Fall arrest uses the same equipment as work restraint, however in this situation the fall protection equipment does not engage until after there has already been a fall. When it engages, the equipment slows the worker’s descent, bringing them to a safe stop. This is the least desirable choice for a number of reasons: 1) It’s the only system in which a fall needs to occur in order for it to work. Anytime that happens, there is room for equipment failure or user error that allows for injury to the worker. 2) Injuries can still be sustained in the fall even if the equipment works properly, such as from striking a lower part of the structure or internal injuries from arresting forces incurred on the body (both of these situations are more likely if the equipment wasn’t used properly – such as in a swing situation or where the allowed free fall distance was too great). 3) A rescue plan is needed. If a person who has fallen is not rescued quickly (sometimes a matter of minutes), they could suffer suspension trauma that could result in serious health issues, including amputations or death. In some circumstances, rescue is very difficult. And while there are some devices on the market that help to alleviate suspension trauma, they usually require an action by the user. If the user was unconscious prior to, or as a result of, the fall, or if they are simply too panicked to focus, using these devices could be impossible. Regardless, despite the disadvantages to this method, fall arrest is still a much more desirable option than a worker plummeting to his or her death.
Fall protection is not something that can be determined on the fly. Without being properly thought out, there is a good chance that the best solution will not be the chosen solution. Why skip right to slowing down somebody’s fall when you can eliminate the fall altogether? Companies need to take the time to sit down in the planning stages of their work to determine how workers are going to be protected at heights – and if those workers even need to be at heights in the first place. Falls continue to be the leading cause of death in construction - and one of the biggest contributors to workplace fatalities overall – year after year after year. Until fall protection consistently becomes more than an afterthought or a perceived nuisance, falls will continue to lead the statistics. Do your part to not allow your employees to become one of the statistics. Run through this hierarchy and provide them effective protection.