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Using a Self Retracting Lifeline

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Using a Self Retracting Lifeline

According to the National Safety Council, falls are one of the leading causes of deaths in the workplace. Each year there are reported injuries and deaths that can be attributed to work-related falls. In addition to permanent injuries and lost lives caused by falls, a business could have major increases in their insurance premiums, workers’ compensation claims, and other costly related expenses. That’s why it is extremely important to use proper equipment. Choosing the proper device that connects or anchors you requires your immediate attention because this critical link is the shock absorbing cable or self-retracting lifeline, and it is comprised of webbing, rope, steel or cable.

Reducing the Risk
A self-retracting lifeline is sometimes referred to as a fall limiter or a yo-yo. Using a self retracting lifeline is a much more practical alternative because it limits the fall at less than 2 feet. With a shorter start distance and a shorter overall stopping distance, a self-retracting lifeline can reduce the risk of injuries, it also gives the worker the ability to move about within a specified working area while lessening their potential tripping hazard. In some cases, the self retracting lifeline could actually prevent a worker from sliding or falling over an edge due to its ability to activate quickly in response to a falling motion. When a worker has a job in a small confined space and that worker slips or falls, the device will activate and stop the fall before that worker falls very far.

Ensuring Worker Safety
A self-retracting lifeline should be purchased for the use for which they were intended. To minimize free fall distance, the device must be anchored above the worker’s location, and there should be no slack in the lifeline whatsoever. Precautions should be taken that the lifeline does not ride over any sharp edges, if it comes across a sharp edge or structure it can be damaged to the point of complete failure. Sharp edges should be padded for total security.

Just like any other equipment that is being used at the job site, the employer must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using this device properly and safely. Training and frequent inspecting of the equipment for proper use and safety precautions is always advisable to ensure worker safety.

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