What is a lifeline?

by Oct 17, 2022Security System0 comments

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  2. What is a lifeline?

WHAT IS A LIFELINE?

On countless occasions we hear the term “LIFELINE” used to provide a solution to any insecurity problem on deck. That is to say, it is commonly used to define and give solution to the great field of “SAFETY” for work at heights.

What is not known is that this statement and safety system in a single system is erroneous since there are many other devices and systems for safe and secure work that prevail over the classic lifeline. For this reason, this article aims to define what an EN 795 lifeline or anchor line is and what it is used for. In addition, the objective is to learn about the different ANCHORING DEVICES and their normative references, making use of and relying on the different existing regulations and NTPs.

La norma UNE EN 795:2007: EQUIPOS DE PROTECCIÓN INDIVIDUAL CONTRA CAIDAS. DISPOSITIVOS DE ANCLAJE contempla y define seis clases diferentes de dispositivos de anclaje, siendo estos:

    • A1.
    • A2.
    • B.
    • C.
    • D.
    • E.

But…

what is an anchorage device?

sliding fall arrester

To know what an anchor device is let’s first detail that NOT an anchor device.

Anchorage devices are not considered to be the elements that make up the personal protective equipment against falls from heights as defined by the standards:

    • UNE EN 353-1:2014 +A1:2017 Equipos de protección individual contra caídas de altura. Sliding fall arrest devices on anchor lines. Part 1: Guided type fall arresters on a rigid anchor line.
    • UNE EN 353-2:2002 Equipos de protección individual contra caídas de altura. Part 2: Guided type fall arresters on a flexible anchor line.

Why are the above-mentioned anchoring devices not considered as anchoring devices?

The explanation is simple: the equipment described in the aforementioned standards, known as sliding fall arrest devices, is designed to arrest a possible fall of the operator, mainly during vertical movements carried out manually, with these slides being carried out by vertical lifelines.

What is an anchor point?

An anchor point is an element to which personal protective equipment may be attached.

TYPES OF ANCHORING DEVICES AND CHARACTERISTICS

According to EN 795-1997, there are six classes of devices (A1, A2, B, C, D and E), which are defined below.

A1.

They are anchoring devices designed to be fixed, anchored by means of structural anchorage on vertical, horizontal or inclined surfaces. Requirements:

    • Its design must allow the connection of a PPE using a suitable and compatible connector, so that it cannot be unintentionally disconnected.
    • The strength of the anchorage device must be exceeding 10 KN in the solicitation in case of a fall.
    • The mobility of an operator using an A1 anchorage is limited by the connecting element used and connected to the fall arrest harness.

 

This means that, if the connecting element is a lanyard, UNE EN 355, the operator’s movement would be restricted to the length of the lanyard.

A2.

These are anchorage devices that meet the same requirements as those described above, known as Class A1, but whose design allows them to be fastened on sloping roofs. Likewise, its design must allow the connection of a PPE using a suitable and compatible connector that cannot be unintentionally disconnected.

B.

Son dispositivos de anclaje con carácter provisional and transportable. Requirements:

    • Its design must allow the connection of a PPE using a suitable and compatible connector, so that it cannot be unintentionally disconnected.
    • The strength of the anchorage device must be exceeding 10 KN in the solicitation in case of a fall.
    • It is classified as PPE so it must bear CE marking and a manufacturer’s information leaflet.

C.

Here we come to the famous “Flexible Lifelines”;

It is a flexible line made of wire rope or synthetic fibers, placed between extreme anchor points fixed by means of a structural anchoring.

The design of the lifeline must be such as to allow the operator to move throughout the work area, comfortably and being connected at all times.

Then the elements it contains can be:

    • Sills, supports.
    • Shock absorber.
    • Line tensioner.
    • Intermediate points.
    • Curves.

This lifeline can be composed of the following devices:

    • One or more spans.
    • With or without energy dissipater.
    • Unidirectional (STRAIGHT LINE), or with changes of direction (TURNS).
    • Circular or branched.
    • For one or more operators.

These elements will be present in the lifeline depending on:

    • Lifeline development
    • Maximum span stipulated by each manufacturer.

Fall arrest PPE would be connected directly to the flexible lifeline. Two types are distinguished:

  • Lifelines “carabiner pitch”: for the connection of the operator to this type of lines it is necessary to use Epi’s. In this case, at intermediate points the operator must perform a “partial disconnection” of the line to pass the intermediate point.

How is this partial disconnection performed? The operator who is anchored with a lanyard conforming to EN 355, with double lanyard, disconnects with one of the carabiners, leaving the second carabiner always connected to the line and then passes this carabiner to the other side of the point of the line. Then follow the same procedure for the second carabiner. THE OPERATOR IS ANCHORED TO THE LINE AT ALL TIMES.

How is this partial disconnection performed?

The operator who is anchored to the lifeline at all times, using a lanyard conforming to EN 355 and equipped with a double lanyard, disconnects from the lifeline with one of the device’s carabiners, always leaving the second carabiner connected to the line. It is this first one that passes to the other side of the point on the line. Then follow the same procedure for the second carabiner. THE OPERATOR IS ANCHORED TO THE LINE AT ALL TIMES.

Lifeline with trolley: the operator makes use of a trolley that will be associated with the line to safely transit the line.

Lifeline requirements:

    • Angle with respect to horizontal ≤ 15º.
    • All parts and components of the system must withstand twice the expected stress (safety factor 2).
    • The required minimum clearance height must be observed.

D. “Rigid lifelines”.

These are rigid, horizontal lifelines that are developed using a rail that can be made of steel or aluminum. A trolley slides along it and is provided with an anchorage point. The PID will be connected to this rail using a suitable and compatible connector. The line shall be provided with end stops.

Requirements:

    • The strength of the anchorage device must be exceeding 10 KN in the solicitation in case of a fall.
    • Same application as the flexible lines.

Class E “dead weight”,

These devices are called “dead weight” devices, used on horizontal surfaces that retain the fall thanks to their own weight (inertia and friction). Therefore, the surface must meet a series of requirements for its placement. From the resistance of the structure where it is placed to its adherent capacity.

It is classified as PPE so it must bear CE marking and a manufacturer’s information leaflet.

U-POWER Official Distributors

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Isabel María Ponce Sáez

Isabel María Ponce Sáez

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