Use of Self-Retracting Lifelines in Mobile Elevated Work Platforms

Related Products: All Safewaze SRLs/SRL-Ps, FS8800SP-D, FS8800SP-L

Related Standards: ANSI A92.22-2021, EM 385-1-1

The use of a Safewaze Self-Retracting Lifeline (SRLs/SRL-Ps) for fall protection on a Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWPs) is permissible provided the user follows the Safewaze product manual and the following guidelines provided:

1. Use of an SRL/SRL-P will not ensure the user is properly restrained while the MEWP is in motion and could result in the user being ejected from the platform. The user should be secured to the engineered anchor point designed into the MEWP at all times. Additionally, the user should utilize a non-energy absorbing restraint lanyard/device which is connected to the side positioning D-rings of a full body harness when the platform is in motion. Connecting to the sternal, front, or dorsal D-rings will not provide adequate protection in a restraint application. SRLs can be adequately used for fall protection when the platform is stationary.

2. If there is an opportunity for the line constituent to encounter a sharp edge while conducting MEWP activities, a Class-2 leading edge SRL must be used.

3. A Class-1, Class-A, or Class-B SRL may be used only when there are no sharp edges and a leading edge is unnecessary, and as long as the aerial work platform has a guardrail system with a latching gate around its perimeter. This is not required if the anchorage position for the SRL is overhead.

4. It is mandatory that the energy absorbing portion of the SRL/SRL-P is mounted to the dorsal D-ring of the user’s harness. If an internal braking SRL is without an external energy absorber and is anchored at, or below, the dorsal D-ring’s height, the SRL may not function as intended. The line constituent could encounter the MEWP’s guard railing and create friction at that contact point, which may not allow the SRL to properly engage and arrest the fall. However, internal braking SRL models that do not incorporate an external energy absorber can be used if a separate, in-line energy absorber is installed between the end of the lifeline and the dorsal D-ring of the harness. By its attachment to the worker’s back, the added energy absorbing device allows proper deceleration as it isolates the friction on the lifeline. This protocol is highly recommended to reduce the risk of damaging the lifeline should a fall occur over the guardrail.

5. Safewaze offers two part numbers for this application:

a. FS8800SP-D — 18” Energy Absorber: Snap Hook, D-ring

b. FS8800SP-L — 20” Energy Absorber: Soft Loop, Snap Hook

6. When calculating fall clearance, efforts must be made to ensure there is a clear fall path available and enough free fall distance to engage the energy absorbing function of an SRL, or external energy absorber. When adding an additional energy absorber, greater fall clearance is required and must be taken into consideration.

7. The SRL’s lifeline extension speed must reach approximately 4.5 feet per second before the brake/absorber will engage and stop a fall. If a user fails to reach this speed, such as in a fall down a sloped surface, the SRL will not engage.

8. Employee training should be conducted to help ensure a safe working environment

9. When operating under the guidelines pursuant to EM 385-1-1, Safewaze SRLs are not allowed for use with Boom Supported Platforms/Boom Lifts.

10. Safewaze SRLs are suitable for use with Self-Propelled Elevating Work Platforms/Scissor Lifts. The Scissor Lifts must be equipped with anchorages that meet the ANSI Z359 Fall Protection Code in order for the SRLs to be utilized. This is also pursuant to requirements as specified in EM 385-1-1.

If you have any additional questions regarding the information in this Technical Bulletin, please contact our Technical Support Specialist at (704) 262-7893.

Additionally, refer to the Safewaze manual provided with your product for additional information.

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