SRL

  1. SRL & PFL 101

    Fall protection equipment is an important part of the job for at-height workers. Here at GME Supply, we pride ourselves in keeping workers like you safe day in and day out. That’s why our Gear Experts® have put together this blog post that outlines the need-to-know about SRLs and PFLs.

    What Does That Stand For


     

    When you read SRL & PFL if you don’t already know what it means it can be confusing. So, let’s get down to the basics first. SRL stands for Self-Retracting Lifeline and PFL stands for Personal Fall Limiter.

    What’s the Difference


     

    An SRL is a device that contains a spring-loaded retracting web or cable lanyard wound around an internal drum. In the event of a fall, it automatically locks and arrests the fall of a worker. A PFL is the exact same thing as an SRL, it’s just another name for it. I know – it seems kind of silly, but that’s just the way the world works sometimes. But, if we had to try and visualize a difference, PFLs are typically smaller and have the ability to be attached directly to your harness. While there isn’t a specific difference between a self-retracting lifeline and a personal fall limiter, there are different classifications, styles, and variations. We’ve covered classifications in detail already in a previous blog post which you can find here. In that post we cover the ANSI Z359.14-2012 standard which establishes A and B classifications for self-retracting lifelines.

    SRL & PFL Styles


     

    Depending on the job at hand the type of SRL that you require can vary. Below we are going to break down body warn vs. mounted SRLs and discuss Leading Edge and Foot Level Tie-Off SRLs.

    Body Worn vs. Mounted

    Larger SRLs are mounted above the worker and connected directly to the anchorage point. The lanyard then runs down to connect to the user’s dorsal D-ring on their harness. These SRLs come in lengths ranging from 8 feet to over 100 feet. Body worn SRLs, usually what are referred to as PFLs, are compact devices that connect directly to the user's harness and are much shorter. Generally, they come in lengths ranging from 6 feet to 8 feet. To tie-off when using a body worn SRL the user connects the tether to an anchorage point. Body worn SRLs can also come in a twin-leg configuration for 100% tie-off.

    Leading Edge + Foot Level

    Most SRLs are designed to only be mounted above the user. However, sometimes that’s not an option when on the job. For situations where mounting an SRL above the user is not possible, SRLs specifically designed for Foot Level + Leading Edge are required. ANSI Classifies these as SRL-LE devices with the LE standing for Leading Edge. These SRLs incorporate special factors designed to absorb the extra energy associated with tying off at foot level as well as more robust cables to resist breaking when ran against a leading edge.

    Other Variations

    While body warn, mounted, and leading edge/foot level SRLs and PFLs are the most common, there are additional variations that you might need for those special jobs. Other potential options for SRL and PFL variations include:

    → Sealed design for use in harsh work environments where dust, grease, and moisture may be prevalent or severe.

    → Rescue devices which are referred to as SRL-R (the R is for rescue – I know, we were surprised, too) by ANSI for auto retrieval. These are commonly found on confined space systems.

    → Tie-Back which can be used when connectors cannot be secured to anchor points.

    → Arc Flash rated devices which are to be used when working in electrical environments.

    Swing Fall Prevention


     

    SRLs are great devices because they allow you to work much farther away from an anchorage point than other forms of fall protection. Remember that mounted SRLs are available in lengths of over 100 feet. But, as with all things in life, the added distance offers a downside. That downside is that swing falls become much more of a danger.

    A swing fall occurs when an anchorage point is not directly overhead of a worker. The device will stop them in the required distance, but the worker may still swing a great distance. This can potentially put other obstacles, walls, or objects in the path of the worker causing a collision. To avoid swing falls, always stay in the safe zone – which is within 30 degrees of your anchor point. Swing falls can be avoided by using mobile anchorage points which will travel with the worker.

    Replacement & Recertification


     

    SRLs are fantastic pieces of equipment, but as with all equipment, they do not last forever. Recertification can be done on some SRLS by the manufacturer to prolong the life of the unit. This can be done after the device is involved in a fall, or after the unit has been in the field for a specific period of time. Please note that not every manufacturer offers this type of program, so you will need to check with the manufacturer for specifications on recertification. If the device is not eligible for recertification, or if the manufacturer does not offer recertification then it must be destroyed and replaced if it is involved in a fall or after a time period specified by the manufacturer.

    For more information about SRLs & PFLs click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®

    SRL & PFLs: The Playlist


     

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any fall protection equipment is used.

    Click here to see our full selection of SRLs & PFLs

    Click here to check out our blog post of SRL & PFL Classifications

    Click here to download our free SRL, SRD, & PFL 101 poster

    Click here to see our full selection of Fall Protection Equipment

    Get Social


     

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  2. SRL ANSI Classes

    An SRL, or Self-Retracting Lifeline is a device that contains a spring-loaded retracting web or cable lanyard wound around an internal drum. This device automatically locks and arrests the fall of a worker. SRLs come in a range of different shapes and sizes. There are also a range of types available for different environments and mounting styles. However, there is one thing that all SRLs used on a job site have in common: ANSI Class ratings. This week our Gear Experts® have put together a guide outlining the ANSI SRL Classes.

    ANSI Classes


     

    ANSI Z359.14-2014 classifies SRLs into two classes. Those classes are Class A and Class B. The main differentiators between the two classes are stopping distance and arresting forces.

    Class A:


     

    In order for an SRL to be Class A it must meet the following requirements:

    → Have a maximum arresting distance that does not exceed 24 inches.
    → Have an arresting force that does not exceed 1,350 pounds (6 kN)
    → Have a maximum peak force of 1,800 pounds (8 kN)
    → After environmental conditioning (hot, cold, or wet) the average arresting force must not exceed 1,575 pounds (7 kN)
    → After environmental conditioning (hot, cold, or wet) the maximum peak force must not exceed 1,800 pounds (8 kN)

    Class B:


     

    In order for an SRL to be Class B it must meet the following requirements:

    → Have a maximum arresting distance that does not exceed 54 inches.
    → Have an arresting force that does not exceed 900 pounds (4 kN)
    → Have a maximum peak force of 1,800 pounds (8 kN)
    → After environmental conditioning (hot, cold, or wet) the average arresting force must not exceed 1,125 pounds (5 kN)
    → After environmental conditioning (hot, cold, or wet) the maximum peak force must not exceed 1,800 pounds (8 kN)

    Comparison:


     

    Each of these devices has benefits based on the jobsite and working conditions. As you can see above a Class A device will stop your fall faster, but with more forces applied to the body. Class B devices, on the other hand, will take longer to arrest the fall, but will reduce the g-forces significantly. Which device you should use depends on your environment. If you have plenty of fall clearance below you, then a Class B device could be the perfect fit. However, if you are working in close quarters and don’t have that extra fall clearance, then you will need a Class A device.

    For more information about SRL Classes click here to visit our knowledge base.

    ANSI SRL Classes Defined: Video


     

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any fall protection equipment is used.

    Click here to see our full selection of SRLs

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has coming up in 2018. It will be exciting – we promise!

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  3. Compact Self-Retracting Lifelines

    Personal Fall Limiters are designed to be lightweight, durable, and comfortable. They reduce fall distance to mere inches, which reduces the forces put on your body during a fall. The Diablo series from Guardian are some of the lightest on the market.

     

     

    They come in a variety of sizes, styles, and from a hand full of different brands. And you can use them as a single leg, or twin-leg device. There are even some designed specifically for foot level tie-off.

     

    Connect the SRL to your dorsal d-ring using a rated carabiner, and then pull the lanyard from the device to tie-off. Many compact twin-leg SRLs, like the DBI Sala Nano-Lok and the FallTech Duratech lines use a carabiner or connection device that actually slides under the webbing below the dorsal-d ring on your harness. This leaves the d-ring open in case a rescue is necessary. The video below shows how to install the Duratechs.

     

     

    Need more info? Give us a call, or chat us online and we'd be glad to help you choose the right SRL!

  4. Live on the Edge

     

    A lot of construction these days involves building up. Cities are running out of room to spread out, so building up makes sense. The problem with building up is there's usually nothing above you to attach your fall protection. Cue the Nano-Lok Edge.

    Nano-Lok Edge - GME Supply

    You work – and live – on the edge. The Nano-lok Edge from DBI Sala will keep you safe. It’s packed with a galvanized steel lifeline. The leading edges of steel structures are often jagged and unfinished. These razor sharp steel bits are bad news for traditional fall protection. The complete Nano-Lok Edge system is designed to keep you safe in these situations.

     

    Traditional equipment isn’t made for foot level tie-off. Having a lanyard dragging behind you on a beam creates a gnarly trip hazard. It could get hooked up on an obstruction or even tangled in your boots, causing you to go down. Also, for foot level tie-off, the gear must be designed to absorb greater forces since you’ll be falling from a greater distance. And that’s not just the lifeline; The whole device has to be beefed up!

     Nano-Lok Edge Chart - GME Supply

    Ever worn a SRL and been annoyed by the way it bangs around on your back D? Not the case with the Nano-Lok Edge, pal. The pack adapter system connects under the D-Ring, plus secures down the shoulder straps. Three points of contact stabilize the entire unit and spread out the weight over your whole back. It also acts as an energy absorber, which reduces the fall energy on your body, and on the lifeline. You’ll also have complete freedom to twist and rotate any direction, since the SRL’s swivel on the pack adapter. No more twisting and tangling. Nice.

     

    DBI Sala Nano-Lok Sharp Logo - GME SupplyWant the Nano-Lok Edge? Look for the bright orange, impact resistant housing. It makes it clear that you’re grabbing the right gear to head up to the top of the steel. Look for the global sharp edge icon, as well.

     

    Finally, the Nano-Lok Edge is available as either a single leg or twin leg if you operate in 100% tie-off mode. (Highly recommended.) It also comes in a variety of hook options from rebar hook, to aluminum carabiner, to tie-back. You’ll find the option you need. See all of our SRL's here.

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