Guided type fall arresters (flexible lines)
Systems made up of a line intended to be fixed (either temporarily or permanently) to a structure at the top only, 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 not deploy more (by movement of the travelling device, stretch in the rope or deployment of energy absorbing elements) beyond a maximum length of 1 metre, with a maximum arrest force of 6kN.
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.