A tie-back lanyard is an energy absorbing lanyard that can wrap around a suitable anchorage structure and then attach (or tie-back) to itself. Equipped with specialized snap hooks, tie-back lanyards are extremely versatile and eliminate the need for a separate anchorage connector. OSHA states that “unless a snap hook is a locking type specifically designed for the purpose of tying back into a lanyard, it shall not be engaged directly to webbing, rope or wire rope.”
In the event of a fall, the process of “tying back” a lanyard into itself could expose the snap hook gate to forces that exceed the design specifications and those outlined by ANSI 359.1. In standard, non-tie-back hooks designed for use with fall protection devices, the gate is the weakest portion of the hook. When forces act upon the front or side of a snap hook gate, the hook can break or deform. This issue has created the necessity for a hook specifically designed not to fail under those circumstances.
Under no circumstances should a user ever tie a lanyard back into itself unless that lanyard is specifically designed for that purpose.