Retractable Tool Lanyards

Retractable Tool Lanyard (Cobra MkII)
Retractable Tool Lanyard Cobra MkII
Retractable Tool Lanyard (Cobra MKII + Velcro Strap)
Retractable Tool Lanyard Cobra MKII + Velcro Strap
Retractable Tool Lanyard + Single Tool Holster (Cobra MKII)
Retractable Tool Lanyard + Single Tool Holster (Cobra MKII)
Retractable Tool Lanyard Easy Reel (Loop)
Easy Reel (Loop)
Retractable Tool Lanyard Easy Reel (Pro Buckle)
Easy Reel (Pro Buckle)
Retractable Tool Lanyard Easy Reel (Pro Velcro)
Easy Reel (Pro Velcro)

Working with Retractable Lanyards

When working at height, both the law and common sense dictate that lanyards be used to secure all hand tools from falling. The law specifically requires all at height workers to use such lanyards as well as a fall arrest system to protect workers themselves. Common sense dictates the same thing for two reasons.

First, any tool dropped from height can become a deadly projectile if it lands on someone below. Second, even without persons at risk below the worker, who wants to have to climb down four stories to retrieve a dropped screwdriver? It is unproductive and tiring, at the least.

By using lanyards workers are able to secure their tools, ensuring everyone's safety as well as the productivity of workers. The lanyards typically attached to tool belts, tool bags, harnesses or scaffolding and come in a variety of sizes, strengths, and designs. For the worker who uses a lot of light weight tools, a retractable lanyard is a great choice. It offers all of the functionality of a non-retractable with some other conveniences other types of lanyards do not offer.

The Need for Retractable

Despite the fact that working with tools at height makes lanyards a necessity, it can be rather annoying and interrupting to workers if they have to deal with half-a-dozen different lanyard straps attached to the body. Those stationary lanyard straps can get tangled, catch on equipment, or just prove to be an overall nuisance to the worker. To solve those problems, Leasing Edge designers introduced the retractable lanyard for light hand tools up to 5 kgs.

The retractable lanyard works on the principle similar to that of a tape measure. The lanyard wire itself is wound around a spool which is encased in a heavy-duty material. The spring-loaded spool keeps the lanyard coiled until the user actively pulls on it. When the pulling motion is ceased the spring causes the spool to rewind and pull in the extra slack. Should a worker drop a tool connected to a retractable lanyard it can only fall as far as the lanyards' total length.

Mounting the Retractable Lanyard

There are several different styles of retractable lanyards with different mounting positions for each. The first type incorporates a belt loop so that a tool belt can be run through that loop to secure it. From there it can be moved back and forth along a tool belt, but it cannot be retro-fitted on such as harnesses. Most of the time, these types of lanyard are sold independently as single units. Other times you find them in combination with a single tool holster.

The Velcro fastening allows the Cobra to be retro-fitted onto harness straps, belts, scaffolding and MEWP/Scissor lift handrails, making it suitable for a wide range of trades and applications.

The key to using a Velcro fastening model is making sure it is securely affixed with a heavy-duty Velcro material. Because of the natural susceptibility of Velcro to wear out and fail, never choose a wrist lanyard simply because it's cheap. Make sure it is made with high-quality Velcro that can withstand the test of time.

When using belt mounted models placing them in ways that will help you be as efficient as possible is beneficial. Since they can be attached to belts or safety harnesses the worker has plenty of space to work with. For maximum efficiency, the right and left-handed worker should mount is lanyards in such a way as to make them freely accessible in a natural and free-flowing manner. The more efficient a worker is in drawing and replacing tools, the more productive he is as well.

Who Benefits from Retractable Lanyards

At height workers who would most benefit from the use of retractable lanyards include those who use a lot of smaller hand tools on a frequent basis. One type of work that comes to mind is a line-man who might work on electrical, telephone, or cable lines. Such workers usually have several different kinds of wrenches, screwdrivers, wire cutters, and other types of hand tools. With all those tools to keep track of having non-retractable lanyards would mean a lot of straps to worry about.

With the retractable lanyard the worker could mount his most often used tools on his belt or safety harness while the rest are kept in a secure tool bag. With these most frequently used tools at hand a worker is capable of quick draw and holstering each of the tools. This makes him a more efficient, more productive, and more than a little bit safer.

Workers using heavier tools like bolt cutters will probably not benefit from retractable lanyards all that much. Such heavy tools require something more stationary.

Choosing the Right Retractable Lanyard

Because the safety of other people is involved you should always choose your retractable lanyards based upon the quality of equipment and the reputation of the manufacturer. Therefore, while price is an undeniable factor in all of our purchases, it must be weighed against the possibility of injuring or killing someone else. Where lanyards are concerned, a good rule of thumb is to purchase those that can withstand up to four times the weight of the object attached.

While that kind of strength may seem a bit unnecessary, consider the fact that when an object falls it also accelerates. When you factor speed and acceleration in together you also have increased force upon impact. That means a simple screwdriver dropped from four stories can increase in force to the extent that it could be extremely dangerous. Never underestimate the power of a falling tool.

When choosing a retractable lanyard you should make sure the manufacture you choose uses only superior steel and heavy-duty composite materials. You should also ask questions regarding the strength of the system, what dynamic load it can withstand and where necessary it's electrical conductivity in both dry and wet conditions. Also ask how is tested to ensure it will meet these conditions.

Tool Safety Catalogue
Tool Safety Roadmap
Tool Safety Roadmap