Last month, equipment supplier MSA Africa launched a new self- retracting lanyard that is both lightweight and compact.
The MSA Latchways 3 m personal fall limiter (PFL) has been designed specifically for environments where close anchorage is available. The lanyard uses multiple spring radial energy-absorbing technology to work.
“The new design eliminates the need for an external energy absorber outside the housing, resulting in this being the most compact PFL available on the market today,” comments MSA Middle East FZE Fall Protection, MEAIR business development manager Nicolas Abry.
He explains that the PFL is suitable for a range of applications, it requires no recalibration or adjustment and has a fully rotating attachment point, which allows for flexibility, including 180° and 360° rotation. Precision engineering has resulted in a structurally reinforced pawl mechanism.
“The self-retracting lifeline (SRL) is housed in a highly durable polycarbonate casing that is transparent to allow for easy visual inspection of critical internal components. All components have been manufactured from high-grade stainless steel and engineered plastics,” he points out.
The PFL is supplied with a choice of steel or aluminium top carabiner, which has a range of connectors to select from. He says that this includes a forged steel snaphook, an aluminium or steel scaffold hook, or a forged steel swivel snaphook.
Further, the PFL can withstand temperatures ranging from –40 ºC to 54 ºC. He explains that the high-performing, high-strength webbing has been manufactured to international standards including European Engineering Standards 360: 2002, American National Standards Institute Z359.14 – 2012, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1910.66, OSHA 1926.502 and Canadian Standards Association Z259.2.2-98.
He points out that the launch of the PFL follows MSA Africa’s introduction of the Latchways personal rescue device (PRD), an integrated harness system. This lightweight, unobtrusive rescue device is contained in a small backpack attached to a full-body harness. It has been designed to be used in conjunction with a fall protection system or anchor point.
“There is a legal obligation to have a comprehensive rescue plan in place when individuals are working at height,” Abry stresses.
Both the PFL and PRD are examples of the technology that is being introduced by MSA Africa onto the local market to enhance worker safety.
He states that the patented components of the PRD fit neatly into the backpack, allowing workers to carry out their daily tasks unhindered. The backpack becomes part of the daily personal protective equipment (PPE) required for those working at height.
“In the event of a fall, the MSA Latchways PRD suspends the worker, who is then lowered to the ground gently in a controlled descent. The device features a 20 m spool of Aramid rope, released at a controlled rate through an integral braking mechanism,” Abry explains.
The design of the PRD only uses quality components and a limited number of moving parts to guarantee 100% mechanical integrity. He points out that, unlike competitor rescue kits, the Latchway PRD requires no specialist training, as it is simply worn in conjunction with a standard full-body harness, and is activated by simply pulling the release cord.
“Its user-friendliness is enhanced by the fact that pre- use checks are minimal. Periodic inspection is required at least annually, or more frequently, to comply with corporate PPE inspection schedules. The descent device, harness and backpack should be checked for any signs of damage, corrosion or chemical attack, regularly,” he highlights.
He concludes that the PRD range from MSA Africa includes a Workman Premier and Workman Utility full-body harness. A rescue pole is also available, which can be used by a third party to activate the PRD in the event of a worker at height being incapacitated. The rescue pole is 800 mm when retracted, and 3 400 mm when extended.