Working on a leading edge is dangerous. Falls can and do happen. The tragedy is easily averted if he or she has a self retracting lifeline. Wearing one means the worker can return home when his or her job is done. A wife, mother, father or partner is spared losing someone they loved.

What Is a Self Retracting Lifeline?

A retractable lifeline is known in the industry by several names. People refer to it as a:

 * Fall protection lanyard
 * Retractable lanyard
 * Retractable Lifeline
 * SRL (self-retracting lifeline)
 * Sala Block
 * Vertical Lifeline
 * Yo-yo

It is a piece of equipment designed to act as a safety line. A common comparison is to a car seat belt.

The device is 6 to 200 feet long. It resides in a coiled format within a protective housing or casing. Depending upon the direction in which a worker is heading – up or down, the lanyard does one of two things: extends or retracts. However, this does not result in the creation of slack. This device is always tight.

During a slip and fall, the equipment locks. This prevents the person from falling any more than a short distance. In fact, the total distance the worker may drop can be a matter of inches not feet.

Who Uses an SRL?

A definite group of professional workers relies on the SRL to keep them safe on the job – those who work from a height. You will find them in many industrial environments – both heavy and light. However, the most common wearers of SRL is among those who work where the workplace is not solid but is a leading edge.

A leading edge is not solid. It can shift and change location. The leading edge is the current edge of a platform, deck or roof upon which a worker may walk while performing his or her duties. On a construction site, the leading edge is always changing. This can result in workers being placed in danger if the change occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. Wearing an SRL, usually in conjunction with a body harness, acts as a preventive measure against potential dangerous slips, falls and other related incidents.

A Self Retracting Lifeline

Working on the edge of things puts workers in a dangerous position. While the work needs to be done, and someone has to do it, it need not result in injury or fatality. In the past, tragedies would often occur because of the negligence of employers. Today, employers and employees can work together to ensure everyone gets back home alive. For those who walk on the leading edge, the safe, smart and legal approach to take is to wear a body harness and a self retracting lifeline.