On this week’s episode of Dynamic Discussions, Greg and David talk to us about leading edge lifelines and the use of D-Ring extenders. The manufacturer determines if the use of a D-Ring extender in conjunction with a leading edge retracting device is safe. Malta Dynamics D-Ring extenders are not compatible with Leading Edge Retracting Lifelines. Leading edge lifelines have a long free-fall distance, and adding a D-Ring extender would elongate the free-fall distance.
A leading edge lifeline is a unit that has been tested to come into contact with an edge. What this means is you can have an edge at foot level, overhead or anywhere the cable has the possibility to come into contact with an edge. There’s a shock pack on Malta Dynamics’ leading edge lifeline that gives an additional energy adsorption device. What this does is that if you were to fall over an edge, it will help to reduce the forces on the body.
The leading edge lifeline shock pack is woven fabric that is sewn together in a way so that if a fall occurs the breaking mechanism will shred down and provide the dissipation of the fall force. The standard self retracting lifeline has all elements internally so it’s important that you don’t come into any contact with an edge. Not only could your line shear, but it could arrest your fall improperly. It’s also important to know that not every self-retracting lifeline with a shock pack below the housing is able to be used as a leading edge.
D-Ring Extenders are a great tool for increasing your mobility. They allow easier access to the D-Ring so you can quickly hook up your fall protection equipment. If you use a safety harness extender, ensure it’s the only attachment hooked on your harness’s back D-Ring. That way, nothing else can constrict the extender’s mobility.
When using a D-Ring Extender, there are some special considerations to keep in mind, like adding 18″ to your fall clearance calculations.
D-Ring Extenders are useful for many fall protection circumstances, but there can also be some limits. The extra length for fall protection can result in a worker having more swing force when they fall. Additionally, D-Ring Extenders are suitable for some jobs but not others.
There are many different styles for D-Ring Extenders. You have a locking connector on one end that connects to your dorsal ring, then you have the extension, which you can then hook up your lifeline to. If someone can’t reach up or can’t reach over, depending on where they are tied off, it makes a very versatile piece of gear.
However, they do not come without restrictions. If you’re using a D-Ring Extender with a leading-edge lifeline. If you’re at foot level tie-off and your cable would encounter an edge, you should not be using a D-Ring Extender. What this does is when you connect your extender to your snap hook, it moves your shock pack back away from your snap hook. If the webbing on your lifeline meets a sharp edge, it has a possibility of severing the lifeline, and we want to decrease the chance of that happening.
Here at Malta Dynamics, we do not recommend that you use a D-Ring Extender with a leading-edge lifeline scenario. If you’re anchoring overhead, it’s fine to use. When you are doing your fall clearance calculations, you’ll want to add the length of your D-Ring Extender to those calculations.
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