OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: February 23, 2012
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Part 9 Fall Protection

Section 142.2 Lanyard

For compliance purposes, lanyards must bear the mark or label of a nationally accredited testing organization such as CSA, UL, SEI etc. as evidence that the lanyard has been approved to the requirements of the Standards. Products bearing a CE mark also comply with this section. The CE mark – Conformité Européenne – indicates that the company manufacturing the product has met the requirements of one or more European directives. The product also complies with the listed CEN European standard.

The 2009 edition of the OHS Code marks the first time that Part 9 accepts fall protection equipment approved to standards from the U.S. and Europe. Fall protection equipment approved to any one of these standards is considered to offer an equivalent level of worker protection. Employers and workers in Alberta now have access to a broader range of equipment to safely meet their fall protection needs. Readers are referred to section 3.1 for information about previous editions of the standards.

Whenever possible, a lanyard used for fall arrest should be equipped with a shock absorber. The shock absorber helps to limit fall arrest forces so that they do not exceed the injury threshold of the human body. The only fall arrest system in which a shock absorber or shock absorbing lanyard is not desired is one in which the added fall distance (1.1 metres [3.5 feet] for North American shock absorbers, 1.75 metres [5.75 feet] for European shock absorbers) created by the shock absorber fully extending creates a greater risk of injury than if the shock absorber were not used. A shock absorber should not be used where this added distance could result in worker injury.

A lanyard incorporating a shock absorber may be used for travel restraint as it takes considerable force e.g. approximately 600 lbs, before the shock absorber’s stitching begins to release.

A wire-rope lanyard should be used in any situation that involves welding, cutting with a torch or other similar operations. Synthetic fibre lanyards can be cut, burned, melted or otherwise damaged during such operations. In the event that a worker works near an energized conductor or in circumstances where a lanyard made of conductive material cannot be used, the worker must use another effective means of fall protection. See Figure 9.3 for examples of lanyards.

The lanyard length must be as short as possible for the work involved, yet allow reasonable maneuverability and working convenience. When in use, all lanyards, whatever their length, must not allow a worker to drop more than the free fall distance specified in section 151.

Lanyards must not be “daisy-chained” to extend the distance that a worker can move. The fall arrest system must be repositioned to extend or alter worker movement. Daisy-chaining is unacceptable because it can greatly increase a worker’s fall distance, resulting in arrest forces capable of injuring the worker or allowing the worker to contact a lower level.

Figure 9.3 Examples of lanyards