A Guide to Scaffolding Lanyards

Scaffolding lanyards are a crucial part of the Health and Safety Toolkit used by anyone who works in the scaffolding business.

The job of the scaffolding lanyard is to catch an employee if they were to fall from an elevated surface.

Considerations when Buying a Scaffolding Lanyard

There are many factors and considerations that need to be taken into account when choosing the right scaffolding lanyard.

Local Health and Safety Requirements

The first is to ensure that all local health and safety requirements are met. This includes knowing when Working At Heights (WAH) applies. In some countries, any work higher than 2 meters (6 feet) is considered Working At Heights, and in some areas anything about 3 meters (10 feet) is considered WAH. Therefore it is crucial to be aware of the regional norms.

One of the best ways to ensure compliance with the norms is to read the local requirements. However, sometimes it may be complicated to find your specific norms, and thus an easier alternative is to buy from a local safety equipment supplier. Your local supplier should be able to advise you on the local norms.

Company Health and Safety Requirements

Once you have ensured you are buying equipment that is compliant with the local norms, it is important to verify that it matches the company norms. Many companies follow stricter WAH regulations than the local region’s norms.

Shock Absorption and Extension

When choosing the scaffolding lanyard, shock absorption, and the extension that the lanyard undergoes during a fall, must be known and taken into consideration. This is important when calculating the fall distance, because if the calculation is inaccurate, it is possible that the worker could hit a surface because of the lanyard extension.

Weight

When choosing a lanyard, it is also important to know who will be using the lanyard. The shock absorbing lanyards are designed for a certain weight range, thus if the employee is heavier than what it is designed for, the harness system could fail.

Similarly, if the employee’s weight is below what the lanyard was designed for, then the shock absorber may not be activated during a fall. This can cause harm to the employee.

Where It Is Used

Along with knowing who will be using the lanyard, it is also important to know where the lanyard will be used. Many construction projects where scaffolding is used takes place in colder climates. The scaffolding lanyards are designed to work in a particular temperature range, but if the temperature drops below this, then a different scaffolding harness needs to be used. If a harness which was not designed for the specific temperatures is still used, they could fail in the event of a fall.

Training

Above all else, training is one of the most important things when choosing a scaffolding lanyard and the whole harness system. The employees must know how to check that their lanyard is in proper working order, and how to calculate the fall distance. They must be taught that they need to use a harness which is right for their weight, as well as the environment they are working in.

Learn more about Scaffolding tools.

About Alex Neumann

Alex has spent most of his working life in the concrete and cement business. While working in these manufacturing facilities, he worked on several projects, where health and safety was always the biggest priority. Whether it be working on small ready-mix concrete sites at minus 30 degrees Celcius (-22 Farenheit), or working inside large cement manufacturing facilities, working at heights meant requiring scaffolding to reach the hard to get-to places. It also meant working in areas where a fall could be dangerous or even deadly. From these various experiences, he developed an understanding and appreciation of scaffolding.

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