What Kind of Fall Arrest Connector Do I Need?

What Kind of Fall Arrest Connector Do I Need?

10th October 2019

Fall arrest connectors are an essential fall arrest component, alongside body harnesses and anchorage. They are primarily made with an element of absorbing energy in order to reduce the impact transmitted to the user’s body in case of a fall. However, there are different types of connectors available, each with its own function and advantages. If you’re looking for a fall arrest connector to use in your workplace but don’t know where to begin, you’ve come to the right place. Below are different types of connectors to help you make informed decisions. Please read on.

Fall Protection Lanyards

These are flexible lines with a connector at each end, used to join the anchorage to the body support. Lanyards should be connected to the back D-ring for fall arrest. Ideally, you should anchor them just above you to minimise fall distance. Lanyards designed for use as part of a personal fall arrest system must contain an energy absorbing unit that will limit the force on the worker to less than 6kN.

You need to choose a lanyard that’s long enough to be user-friendly. The recommended length is usually 2 meters, but you should keep it as short as possible to minimise the free fall distance. Lanyards usually come in different forms:

  • Positioning systems, which are able to control where the victim goes in case of a fall when working at height to protect them from danger.
  • Shock-absorbing systems, which have an energy-absorbing capability to minimise fall arrest forces experienced by a worker in case they fall.
  • Fall restraint lanyards, which do not contain absorbing devices and are used to restrain the user from leaving a safety zone therefore eliminating the risk of a probable fall.

Self-Retracting Lifelines

These are flexible lifelines attached to a mechanism that allows them to extend and retract under slight tension when the user moves away from and toward the device. They’re usually anchored to the point that’s directly above the user. This aids in shortening the fall distance and reducing trip hazards. The braking mechanism stops the fall quickly and also minimises the force on your body. It can also provide maximum mobility and manoeuvrability, thus helps increase your productivity at work. Self-retracting lifelines can also be used with a horizontal lifeline to enhance its function.

Vertical Lifeline Systems

These are systems mounted on vertical structures to ensure safe access to buildings, stairs, and pillars. Vertical lifeline systems allow for safety, mobility, and productivity in the various vertical climbing environments in your workplace. They include rope grabs and cable-based ladder safety systems. Depending on your task needs and preferences, you can consider installing them permanently or temporarily for ease in moving from one place to another. You can also opt for hand-operated or automated systems. They’re made using stainless steel, which increases their resistance to corrosion to make them efficient for a longer period. These systems are also hardly affected by severe weather conditions, such as high temperatures, precipitation, or the snow experienced in most parts of the UK.

Not just any connector you come across in the market is okay to purchase. Some manufacturers and suppliers provide substandard products that could jeopardise your safety and that of your workers. Look for manufacturers and suppliers who provide CE accredited fabrications as this indicates their products meet the minimum health and safety regulations for use.

If you’re planning to use these and other fall arrest systems in your workplace, it’s important that you beware of the risks involved with your tasks and the safety system you’re using. Only well-trained and competent personnel should be allowed to perform or supervise any work at height operations. Do not take your safety and that of your workers for granted. Stay safe always!