Tool Lanyards

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Tool Lanyards

Lanyards come in all shapes and sizes for a variety of different purposes. Strictly defined, a lanyard is a strap or cable worn around the wrist or attached to an anchor point to help the user carry and work something specific. Tool lanyards are just one example; they can be attached at the wrist, the tool belt, around the waist, or a variety of other ways. Regardless of the object to which a tool lanyard is anchored, its purpose is to prevent tools from falling
to the ground.

Tool lanyards are manufactured in a variety of shapes and styles, each having its own specific characteristics. It is important when choosing your tool lanyards to choose those that are best suited to the tools you use and the environment in which you work. While having an unsuitable lanyard is better than having none at all, you should still strive to have lanyards that are specifically designed to be effective for your industry.

Though there a fairly large number of lanyard styles and construction methods, we have listed below just a few of the more popular ones. Keep in mind that these three may not be appropriate for every environment.

Elastic Lanyards

Elastic lanyards are those with clips on either end; one click attaches to the tool belt, your wrist or scaffolding, the other end to the tool. These types of lanyards are very helpful when working on jobs that require workers to fully extend their arms. By being flexible, elastic lanyard make it easy to get the hand tool where you need it while still keeping it securely attached to your tool belt or safety harness. The elasticated design reduces tripping, and snagging hazards.

One thing you should never do with an elastic tool lanyard is attach it between your safety harness and your fall arrest system. Doing so could result in serious injury or death because the elastic lanyard interferes with correct operation of the fall arrest's braking system. It creates vibrations in the system during a fall which could ultimately cause the brakes to fail to activate. Tool lanyards should always be attached to an appropriate anchor point.

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Retractable Lanyards

The retractable tool lanyard is ideal for tools up to 5kgs or those you use frequently enough that moving them in and out of a tool belt is inefficient. A good example would be a tape measure. The retractable lanyard allows tape measure to remain clipped to a belt while being available for the worker to pull off and begin using without having to dig through a tool bag. When he's done he can simply hook the tape measure back to the holster on the tool belt and the lanyard retracts automatically, again reducing tripping, and snagging hazards.

In terms of preventing a tool fall, if the worker drops the tool it will only travel as far as the lanyard's 1.5m cable length tests now show it can handle an impact load in excess of 200kgs giving a high safety margin. When the tool is retrieved and weight is taken off the spring, this allows the lanyard to retract back into its case. Although the retractable lanyard is not appropriate for every tool and job site, it is a great option in environments where it is.

Wrist Lanyards

A wrist lanyard is one that attaches around the wrist using either a Velcro strip or a buckling system. This type of lanyard is a great option when the work being done at height only requires a few simple hand tools. It allows a worker to use a screwdriver, for instance, and then switch to a claw hammer or a wrench very quickly and without much effort.

All Leading Edge wrist lanyards have a unique safety release expansion joint, preventing de-gloving in an accident. The design makes it possible for the wrist strap to come free in an emergency releasing the hand from becoming drawn into potential hazards should their tool/lanyard become caught up, as an example in rotating machinery.

Before you purchase your tool lanyards be sure to assess the type of work you do and the environment in which you work. This will help you make wise choices in regards to the many styles of lanyards available. And remember to always think safety-first when working at height.

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