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When and Why Do You Need a Leading Edge SRL?
February 22, 2021
If you’ve asked yourself what’s the difference between a regular SRL and a leading edge one (SRL-LE), you’d be surprised to hear that not a whole lot is different, but probably more than you think.
What sets the SRL-LE apart is the addition of an integral shock absorber that sits between the user and their SRL. On larger SRL-Les, that shock absorber is just above the snap hook, and on smaller, the back worn unit is in the pack that sits directly on the user’s back.
It is recommended to use an SRL-LE in either, or both situations:
1. The anchor point sits at or below the Dorsal d-ring
2. The lifeline has the potential to meet an edge during a fall.
Succinctly, leading edge-rated equipment contains additional shock absorption features that are essential for falls that take us over a sharp edge or when we are tied-off below our dorsal d-ring.
Here is an example:
Scenario 1: A worker is in-line with an anchor point above their head and they fall. Their fall accelerates the speed of lifeline dispensing out of the SRL and activates the internal braking mechanism. The unit will start simultaneously decelerating your fall and absorbing some of your fall forces.
Scenario 2: This worker has an identical fall to Worker 1, but their SRL was anchored at foot-level. The dispensing speed of the SRL won’t be able to accelerate to the speed they need to activate the brake until the user, and their SRL, have fallen beneath their anchor point. At that time the SRL’s brake will activate and immediately stop dispensing lifeline. But at this point, the lifeline will be pulled taught over the edge of the walking working surface where they were once standing. And that act of being “pulled taught” equates to hundreds of pounds of pressure on their lifeline. That amount of pressure, combined with any slicing motion that may occur, if the user was not working directly beneath their anchor point, leads to the lifeline potentially severing.
This is where a Leading Edge SRL comes into play. If worker 2 is wearing an SRL-LE unit, they have nothing to worry about. The additional shock pack that is attached to a Leading Edge SRL is not for the user, but for their SRL! That additional shock absorber is there to absorb the forces being put onto the user’s PFAS and ensure the equipment does not fail. And, in turn, the PFAS absorbs the forces that would be felt by the fall victim.
Standard SRLs are wonderful pieces of technology that have prevented countless injuries and fatalities over the years. They help greatly reduce, if not entirely eliminate, the amount of freefall that a fall victim experiences. However, that benefit of the SRL is only available to the user if they are able to attach to an anchor located above the dorsal d-ring. Their effectiveness is limited by their usability, and their usability is limited to overhead-use only.
Many don’t get the convenience of having an overhead anchor point 100% of the time. That’s the beauty of the SRL-LE. It will work as a standard SRL in overhead anchor applications, but still contain the extra protection needed, should that worker use a lowered anchor at some point in their shift. That is one less “extra” piece of equipment to purchase and less downtime figuring out what SRL to use and where.
The SRL-LE provides protection for all working at height situations.
Fall protection equipment is your insurance policy. An SRL-LE is your fall protection’s equipment’s insurance policy. Honeywell Miller Fall Protection offers various models of SRL-LE, each with their own set of features and benefits. Discover them below, or feel free to reach out to your local Fall Protection Specialist for assistance.
TurboLite MAX - Personal, back worn unit for lowered anchor, smooth edge applications
TurboLite EXTREME - Personal, back worn unit for lowered anchor, sharp edge applications
Falcon Edge SRL-LE - Durable plastic housing for lowered anchor, sharp edge applications
MightyLite SRL-LE - Metal housing for lowered anchor, sharp edge applications
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