Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems
This standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, qualification, testing, markings and instructions of self-retracting devices (SRDs), including self-retracting lanyards (SRLs), SRLs with integral rescue capability (SRL-Rs) and SRLs with leading edge capability (SRL-LEs).
All new items of equipment to the market are required to undergo Qualification testing which requires each test to be carried out 3 times. Following approval, Verification testing is required every 2-5 years, based on the manufacturers quality system and involves carrying out one full set of tests.
Metallic components used in fall protection equipment are subjected to a neutral salt-spray test intended to prove a minimum resistance to environmental corrosion (specifically rust). Products are held within a sealed chamber, which is filled with a salt-water mist, which can induce rust in unprotected metals. Products are subjected to 96 hours exposure and examined for rusting and function afterward. Following this test, the SRD is required to pass the retraction tension test mentioned below.
All SRDs are required to ensure that the lifeline has enough tension to retract fully from any point along the line. The retraction force is measured with the line extracted 305mm, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% and is required to be within 1.25 pounds (5.55N) and 25 pounds (111.1N). Additionally, SRL-LEs are required to fully retract the lifeline at any point along the line in a horizontal configuration.
All SRDs are required to withstand a force of 3,000 pounds (13.3kN) for 1 minute without failure of the device. Additionally, SRL-Rs are require to meet the same requirements when in rescue mode. Given the length of some SRDs, this test can be carried out on a shortened 1m representative sample.
For all SRDs in vertical orientation, a dynamic test is carried out which goes above the forces likely to be seen in real use, to ensure a safety factor is built in. The test involves extracting and clamping 1.2m of lifeline to prevent retraction. A 136kg test mass is then dropped 1.2m and the SRD is required to hold the test mass without failure. Following this test, the SRD is also then required to retain 1,000 pounds (4.4kN) of residual tensile strength.
For SRL-LEs, an additional dynamic strength test is carried out horizontally with the 136kg mass dropped from a height of 1.5m above a calibrated metal edge with radius of no greater than 0.005 inch (0.13mm). This test is done both perpendicular and with a 1.5m offset to the edge.
For all SRDs in vertical orientation, a series of dynamic tests are carried out following ambient, wet, cold and hot conditioning. This test involves dropping a test mass of 128kg with 36 inches (914mm) extracted from the SRD with no initial free fall. The SRD is required to hold the test mass and also meet the appropriate requirements for peak arrest force, average arrest force and arrest distance.
For SRL-Rs, the rescue function is engaged before the test mass is removed. The mass is then lifted up using the rescue function and then the arrest distance checked when releasing the handle. The test mass is then winched down to the ground. All these devices are then required to pass the retraction tension test mentioned above.
For SRL-LEs, an additional series of dynamic tests are carried out following ambient, wet, cold and hot conditioning but in a horizontal orientation over an edge. 128kg mass is dropped from a height of 1.5m above a calibrated metal edge with radius of no greater than 0.005 inch (0.13mm). This test is done both perpendicular and with a 1.5m offset to the edge for each of the 4 conditions. The test mass is required to be held by the device and the forces not exceed the appropriate requirements for peak arrest force and average arrest force. Arrest distance is noted.