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News

HSE issues warning on correct use of twin tailed lanyards

HSE InfoLine : 08 December, 2004  (Company News)
The Health and Safety Executive has issued a warning on the importance of following manufacturers' instructions on the use of fall arrest equipment, in particular systems based on twin tailed energy absorbing lanyards. The warning has been prompted by a recent incident in Australia, where a worker was killed when his lanyard failed.
The Health and Safety Executive has issued a warning on the importance of following manufacturers' instructions on the use of fall arrest equipment, in particular systems based on twin tailed energy absorbing lanyards. The warning has been prompted by a recent incident in Australia, where a worker was killed when his lanyard failed.

Martin Holden, Principal Specialist Inspector with HSE's Construction Division Technology Unit, who deals with technical issues concerning work at height, said:

'It is vital that everyone using fall arrest systems based on twin tailed lanyards understands and follows the manufacturer's instructions. Remember that when one of the lanyard legs is connected to the anchor point, the second leg should not be attached to the user's harness, or to their belt or clothing, as this could limit the extension of the energy absorber in the event of a fall.

'If this happens, excessive arrest forces will be applied to both the user and to the system, which could lead to equipment failure with potentially fatal consequences. Unless the harness has been provided or retro fitted with lanyard 'parking' points, which are specifically designed to break away in the event of a fall, the second leg should be left to hang free. Alternatively, on this and only this specific type of lanyard, the second leg can also be connected to the anchor point.

'Lanyards are widely used in a variety of industries and employers must have formal procedures in place to ensure that equipment is used correctly. Workers must know how to use lanyards properly and should check them regularly before use. If in doubt, employers should contact the manufacturer or supplier. Lanyards should be treated with care, not dragged on the ground or allowed to get dirty, and must never be wrapped around sharp or angled surfaces.'
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