Workers must wear safety lanyards when working on elevated surfaces to protect themselves from trips and falls. The device links the full body harness to a worker’s fall protection anchor point and aids in catching the user in the air, preventing them from falling to the ground and helping reduce the risk of injury. These short sections of webbing or cable can attach to the D-ring of the safety harness for added fall safety protection. 

Browse our selection of fall safety equipment including self-retracting lifelines (SRLs) and personal fall limiters (PFLs) as well as harnesses and accessories. We offer a variety of options for different applications, such as arc flash, positioning, single leg, and twin leg, from brands like DBI-SALA, French Creek, Miller Honeywell, Petzl, and Skylotec. 


What is a safety lanyard?

A safety lanyard is a line of cable or webbing that links the worker’s full body harness to an anchor point, usually located at foot or waist level on the elevated surface. The lanyard connects to the D-ring on the harness, which is worn around the person’s torso and legs. 

Safety lanyards are a crucial part of a personal fall arrest system. OSHA requires employers to provide fall protection equipment in general workspaces with elevations of four feet or more, five feet or more in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry, and eight feet in longshoring operations. 

Fall protection must also be provided when working above dangerous equipment or machinery, regardless of the fall distance. 

What is the difference between a self-retracting lanyard and a shock absorbing lanyard?

A safety lanyard can be self-retracting, like a yo-yo, or shock absorbing, depending on the application. Self-retracting lanyards or lifelines (SRLs) are designed to react quickly in the event of a fall, arresting the fall in a matter of inches. This feature reduces the fall distance and enhances safety. The farther the worker falls, the more pressure it will put on their body. 

Self-retracting models have a roller that extends the cable or webbing before stopping during a fall. The fall clearance length should exceed the total length of the lanyard. Clearance is measured from the surface where the person works to the ground. While SRLs are available that can extend up to 600 feet, they still require a clearance of six and a half feet. If a sudden force is detected, the lifeline locks to prevent the user from further descent. 

Shock-absorbing lanyards typically come with fixed-length s. They require a fall clearance of 18 and a half feet, which is calculated from the point of anchorage where the lanyard is connected, rather than from the surface where the person is working, to the nearest potential hazard. It includes six feet for the lanyard, three and a half feet for deceleration, six feet for the worker’s height, and a three feet safety factor. Once the worker falls six feet with the lanyard plus another three and a half feet of deceleration, the shock absorbing pack engages to stop their momentum to reduce pressure and unnecessary movement.  

When should you use a shock absorbing lanyard?

Workers should use a shock absorbing lanyard when working on surfaces with fall clearances of 18-and-a-half feet or more. The shock-absorbing pack will stabilize the user in the air during these falls to provide additional comfort and support. They typically keep the arresting force to 900 lbs. or less.

Why should you use an energy absorbing lanyard when working from heights?

It is required to use a shock absorbing style when working on higher elevated surfaces, so the arresting forces do not injure the worker. Without the stabilizing pack, the harness puts additional pressure on the person’s midsection, thighs, and groin, which could lead to injury and poor circulation. The force could also cause them to bounce or sway, which could lead to a collision with another object. The team should have a plan for lowering the worker to the ground as soon as possible to reduce the possibility of suspension trauma.