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EN 1496: 2017
Rescue lifting devices

Rescue lifting devices are used to rescue someone and raise them from a lower to a higher place.

There are 2 classes of rescue device, class A which is only used for lifting and class B which also allows some limited lowering. These devices can be standalone pieces of equipment, or integrated into items of PPE such as descender devices, retractable lanyards or anchor devices.


Rescue lifting devices will incorporate a handle or equivalent to allow winching of the person being rescued. The force required to operate this winching mechanism needs to be below 250N when tested with the maximum rated load.

Function (Class A only)

This test requires the rescue lifting device line to be fully extracted. A test mass of 1.5 times the maximum rated load is then winched up on the device until only 1m of line is left extracted. On releasing the handle at this point, the arrest distance is then measured. This test is then repeated with a 30kg mass, followed by both weights being tested again following the rescue lifting device being conditioned in water.

Dynamic performance (Class B only)

For all applicable devices, the maximum rated load is attached to the rescue line and dropped with an initial free fall of 600mm with 4m of line extracted from the device. The device needs to arrest the mass and keep the arrest force below 6kN. Following this test, the mass is then switched to one which is 1.5 times maximum rated load and the function test above carried out.

Static Strength

Whole products are subjected to tensile tests. The test force required is a minimum of 12kN or 10 times the maximum rated load, whichever is greater. The tensile force is applied and held for at least 3 minutes, to ensure the breaking strength of the product is in excess of the force specified by the standard.

Corrosion Resistance

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 48 hours exposure and examined for rusting and function afterward.