Personal protection against falls
EN 353-2:2002 specifies the requirements, test methods, marking, manufacturer information, and packaging for guided-type fall arresters that include flexible anchor lines (e.g., those that can be secured to an upper anchor point). Guided-type fall arresters with include flexible anchor lines in conformance with this European standard are subsystems constituting one of the fall arrest systems covered by EN 363.
EN 353-2:2002 PERSONAL PROTECTION AGAINST FALLS – PART 2: GUIDED TYPE FALL ARRESTERS WITH FLEXIBLE ANCHOR LINES
Other types of fall arresters are described in EN 353-1 or EN 360. Energy absorbers are detailed in EN 355.
Guided-type fall arresters (flexible lines)
These are systems comprised of a fixed line, either temporary or permanent, on which a travelling device is attached. The user connects to this travelling device when climbing or descending. In the event of a fall, the travelling device should grip the line and stop the fall.
Guided-type fall arresters are subject to a drop test using a 100 kg mass, released over the maximum distance the device will allow (e.g., by raising the mass until the travelling device begins to slide up the cable or rail). The device should not deploy more—by the movement of the travelling device, stretching the rope, or through the deployment of energy absorbing elements—than 1 meter and with a maximum arrest force of 6 kN.
Locking after Conditioning
With mechanical devices, additional testing is required to ensure they are not adversely affected by environmental conditions. The devices’ locking function can be tested with a mass of at least 5 kg after the devices have been exposed to 50°C with 85% relative humidity for at least 2 hours, too -30°C for at least 2 hours, and to water sprayed in volumes of 70 litres/per hour for at least 3 hours. Optional testing would follow devices’ submersion in diesel oil or dust.
Whole products are subjected to tensile tests. Textile lanyards are subject to a 15 kN tensile force and metal lanyards to 12 kN. Tensile forces are applied and held for at least 3 minutes to ensure that the products’ breaking strengths of the products exceed the force specified by the standard.
Metallic components used in fall protection equipment are subjected to a neutral salt spray test designed to determine the products’ capacity to resist environmental corrosion and rusting. Products are exposed to saltwater mist for 24 hours inside a sealed chamber. Following this exposure, products are examined for signs of rusting and diminished functionality.