Guided type fall arresters (rigid lines)
Systems made up of a line or rail intended to be fixed (either temporarily or permanently) to a structure at top and bottom, on which a travelling device is attached. The user connects to this travelling device when climbing or descending – in the case of a fall, the travelling device should grip the line and arrest the fall.
Guided type fall arresters are subject to a drop test using a 100kg mass, dropped over the maximum distance the device will allow – essentially by raising the mass until the travelling device begins to slide up the cable or rail. The device should arrest the fall within 1 metre from the point of release, with a maximum arrest force of 6kN.
Due to inadequacies in EN 353-1 (the presumption of conformity has been removed for this standard), additional drop testing is required on these systems to ensure that they operate as required during a fall. At SATRA this additional testing involves using a 100kg articulated dummy, released from at least four different postures. In these tests, the dummy must be arrested in a safe manner within a distance of 2 metres.
Locking After Conditioning
In the case of mechanical devices, additional testing is required to ensure they are not adversely affected by environmental conditions. Devices are checked for their locking function (by dropping a mass of at least 5kg) following conditioning to high temperature (50°C, 85% relative humidity for at least 2 hours), low temperature (-30°C for at least 2 hours) and water (sprayed at 70 litres per hour for at least 3 hours). Optional testing following submersion in diesel oil or dust can also be included.
Whole products are subjected to tensile tests. Textile lanyards are subject to a 15kN tensile force and metal to 12kN. Tensile forces are 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.
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 24 hours exposure and examined for rusting and function afterward.