What is the best lanyard for the job?

In a personal fall arrest system (PFAS), a lanyard connects your harness to an anchor point or to a horizontal or vertical lifeline, which acts as an intermediate connection to the anchor.

While lanyards are typically 6' in length, shorter and longer options are available. Always select the shortest possible lanyard. Lanyards should be long enough to allow adequate job site work without creating undue free fall distance.

Even a minimal fall can create tremendous force. For example, a 200 lb. worker falling 10 feet is subject to 8,000 lbs. of force in an abrupt dynamic drop. A properly selected and installed PFAS lanyard can drastically reduce the force to below 1,800 lbs., preventing serious injury.

When selecting the best lanyard for the job, ask:

  • What is the fall clearance to the next level?
  • Where is the anchor point located, above or below the harness D-ring?
  • Will you plan for fall arrest or eliminate the hazard by using a positioning lanyard?
  • Will you be working near or over what ANSI defines as a leading edge?
  • What is the right material for your lanyard based on the environment?
  • What lanyard connectors do I need to properly tie off?


  • Webbing – The flexible and dependable choice for most applications.
  • Rope – For increased abrasion resistance and strength.
  • Cable – Ideal for high heat or leading edge environments.
  • Specialty – Coated webbing for protection against grease, oil, or other contaminants.
  • Aramid – Webbing for fire, welding, or arc flash conditions. 


  • Soft Loop – Chokes the lanyard harness attachment point.
  • Snap Hook – The most common option for small anchor points.
  • Carabiner – A twist lock gate alternative to hooks.
  • Scaffolding/Rebar Hook – Offers a larger gate opening for a variety of structural connections.
  • Tie-Back Hook – Specially built for applications where a standard anchor or connection is unavailable.

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