Selecting The Right Kind of Fall Protection
Posted by PK Safety Team on Sep 30th 2010
On any job where you are going to be working off of the ground, it is important to consider fall protection. Having the right type of fall protection gear can save lives and prevent injury. If you are unsure of which protection is right for you, as always, feel free to contact us and ask! Let's look at a question someone recently asked about obtaining the right kind of fall protection for a particular application:
We operate 6 order pickers in our warehouse. Racking where the order pickers work ranges up to about 22 feet above ground. Our operators wear full harnesses and 6’ lanyards. I believe our application may be better served with self retracting lifelines since the operators work at heights ranging from floor level to top of the racks to select and fill their orders. Would you agree that an SRL may be a good replacement for our lanyards? Which SRL’s would you suggest we review?
I agree, a Self Retracting Lifeline (SRL) would be a good addition for your order pickers. The benefit of having an SRL verses a lanyard is fall distance. With a lanyard, unless the lanyard is pulled taut, a fall means falling both the distance left on the lanyard and the stretch of the lanyard. For example, say the 6 foot lanyard is anchored 2 feet above; you would have approx 4 feet to fall, plus the stretch of the lanyard’s shock absorbing feature, about 14 more inches. An SRL, on the other hand is always taut. This means if you fall, you will only have the extension of the SRL’s shock absorber to fall, or about 14 inches total. Having less distance to fall means your body will have less acceleration when you are finally stopped. So having less fall distance means both less strain on your body, and also less of a chance that you will hit something on the way down.
We have a model of SRL intended for the application. I recommend the 11ft Rebel AD111A Web SRL, which can be mounted in the AD001 Rebel Cab Mount Bracket. If your order picking system has a cage or rack overhead, the AD001 bracket can be mounted there. Other types of systems may just have a ring anchor point, and no bars to grab on to. In that case I would still use the SRL, but simply attach with the carabiner provided with the AD111A.
As always, don't work alone. In case you do fall it is a good idea to have someone around who can help you, or call for help. As I said before, having the right fall protection can save you from serious injury or even death. If you have any questions about which fall protection is right for you don't hesitate to contact us for advice.