3M Fall Protection’s guidelines indicate that self-retracting devices (SRDs) and self-retracting lifelines (SRLs) must be inspected by the user before each use and also have the units inspected by a competent person at least annually. 3M recommends the user do a “pull check” to ensure the SRL will lock up when the lifeline is extracted or pulled quickly. If the unit does not achieve lock up the unit should not be used and should be immediately taken out of service.
Before each use, inspect the SRD and check for proper locking and retraction. If inspection reveals an unsafe or defective condition, remove the device from service and repair or replace according to the User Instructions.
What are some other important safety tips regarding the use of SRDs?
To reduce the risks associated with working with an SRD which, if not avoided, could result in serious injury or death:
- Before each use, inspect the SRD and check for proper locking and retraction.
- If the inspection reveals an unsafe or defective condition, remove the device from service and repair or replace according to the User Instructions.
- If the SRD has been subjected to fall arrest or impact force, immediately remove the SRD from service and label the device ‘UNUSABLE’.
- Ensure the lifeline is kept free from any and all obstructions including, but not limited to; entanglement with moving machinery or equipment (e.g., the top drive of oil rigs), other workers, yourself, surrounding objects, or impact from overhead objects that could fall onto the lifeline or the worker.
- Never allow slack in the lifeline. Do not tie or knot the lifeline.
- Attach the unused leg(s) of the Harness Mounted SRD to the parking attachment(s) of the harness if equipped.
- Do not use in applications that have an obstructed fall path. Working on slowly shifting material, such as sand or grain, or within confined or cramped spaces, may not allow the worker to reach sufficient speed to cause the SRD to lock. A clear path is required to assure positive locking of the SRD.
- Avoid sudden or quick movements during normal work operation. This may cause the device to lock up.
- Ensure that fall protection systems/subsystems assembled from components made by different manufacturers are compatible and meet the requirements of applicable standards, including the ANSI/ASSP Z359 or other applicable fall protection codes, standards, or requirements.
- Always consult a Competent and/or Qualified Person before using these systems.
- (DEVICES WITH MAGNETS) Avoid close proximity to implanted medical devices.
What are some overall tips to help reduce the risks associated with working at height which, if not avoided, could result in serious injury or death?
- Ensure your health and physical condition allow you to safely withstand all of the forces associated with working at height. Consult with your doctor if you have any questions regarding your ability to use this equipment.
- Never exceed the allowable capacity of your fall protection equipment.
- Never exceed the maximum free fall distance of your fall protection equipment.
- Do not use any fall protection equipment that fails pre-use or other scheduled inspections, or if you have concerns about the use or suitability of the equipment for your application. Contact 3M Technical Services with any questions.
- Some subsystem and component combinations may interfere with the operation of this equipment. Only use compatible connections.
Consult the reputable PPE fall protection manufacturer prior to using this equipment in combination with components or subsystems other than those described in the User Instructions.
- Use extra precautions when working around moving machinery (e.g. top drive of oil rigs) electrical hazards, extreme temperatures, chemical hazards, explosive or toxic gases, sharp edges, or below overhead materials that could fall onto you or your fall protection equipment.
- Use arc flash or hot works devices when working in high heat environments.
- Avoid surfaces and objects that can damage the user or equipment.
- Ensure there is adequate fall clearance when working at height.
- Never modify or alter your fall protection equipment. Only 3M or parties authorized in writing by 3M may make repairs to the equipment.
- Prior to use of fall protection equipment, ensure a rescue plan is in place which allows for prompt rescue if a fall incident occurs.
- If a fall incident occurs, immediately seek medical attention for the worker who has fallen.
- Do not use a body belt for fall arrest applications. Use only a full body harness.
- Minimize swing falls by working as directly below the anchorage point as possible.
- If training with this device, a secondary fall protection system must be utilized in a manner that does not expose the trainee to an unintended fall hazard.
- Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment when installing, using, or inspecting the device/system.
Do not use any fall protection equipment that fails pre-use or other scheduled inspections, or if you have concerns about the use or suitability of the equipment for your application. Contact our health and safety specialists with any questions and please thoroughly review the 3M Instruction for Use document for the associated 3M SRL in use.