Explore how to decide if a job at heights requires a lanyard or a Self-Retracting Lifeline (SRL)

There are many different job situations where you could be working at heights, so there is a wide array of fall protection equipment to meet each situation. One decision that must be made with each and every instance where fall protection equipment is used is whether to use a lanyard or a self-retracting lifeline (SRL) as a connecting device. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and the use of one over the other should be determined by the safety requirements of the job at hand. Safe Keeper offers both SRLs and lanyards, so you can have both on hand for whatever the job calls for!

Choosing Between a Lanyard and an SRL

Deciding between a lanyard or an SRL means you need to understand the differences between these two connecting devices. Both connect a worker’s harness to the anchorage, but they are very different.

A lanyard is made from webbing or cable and comes in a few sizes. The 3-foot size is used solely as a fall restraint in that it keeps a worker from approaching a fall hazard. The 6-foot lanyard is the standard size, and there is even a 12-foot option. Lanyards designed for fall arrest have either an internal or external shock absorbing functionality that stops a falling worker once the slack in the lanyard is gone.

An SRL is made of web or cable lifeline, and they are available in much longer lengths. They contain an internal braking mechanism that arrests a fall quickly because the line always retracts back into the mechanism, much like a seatbelt on a vehicle or a cased tape measure.

While the SRL offers quicker arrests and more options because of the variety of lengths, it is a more complicated process to match the SRL that should be used with the job’s requirements. Factors such as lifeline material/shock absorber configuration, compliance with regulations, and use in leading edge applications all factor in to choosing an SRL, and it requires a knowledgeable and trained person to decide the right options.

Safe Keeper offers a variety of both self-retracting lifelines and lanyards, as well as harnesses and anchorage, so that all of your bases are covered when it comes to putting together the best fall protection system for the job.