[TowerTalk] Climbing belts/harnesses demonstration

Terry Gerdes terry at ab5k.net
Wed Jun 14 10:48:26 EDT 2006

I was at the same demonstration, very impressive.  I did pick up a business 
card and their web site is:

73 Terry - AB5K

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Bragassa" <bragassa at consolidated.net>
To: <towertalk at contesting.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 9:35 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Climbing belts/harnesses demonstration

> This past weekend at HamCom in Plano Texas; a representative of Pinkerton
> Sales; a manufacturing rep company for "Ultra-Safe", a climbing belt
> ("fall-arrest")  company, gave an excellent demo outside of the convention
> hall on their demo-trailer. He would winch up a 220# weight and demo
> different situations. The message was that different lanyards (  position 
> or
> fall-arrest, whichever) exert dramatic differences in force to the user 
> when
> a fall occurs.
> As I recall (+/-)and briefly:
> 1. Six foot conventional lanyard: 2500# (ouch!)
> 2. Six foot lanyard w/ sewn fold-out layers (shock absorbing): 700# (still
> "ouch")
> 3. Six foot lanyard, now get this,  WITH A KNOT IN IT: "0" force; it broke
> instantly! (Big ouch!)
> At least on two of the ouch's, the user survived.
> He demonstrated, basically, two types of climbing harnesses:
> 1. Conventional, as we know, nylon straps.
> 2. A nylon harness, but the straps have some very slight stretch to them. 
> I
> liked that harness.
> He added that any and all harnesses must be tightened "firmly"; not loose
> and, of course, not uncomfortably too-tight. Any extreme slack or 
> sloppiness
> can be harmful to ones health in the event of a fall.
> He also mentioned that always someone should be present while the climber 
> is
> working in the tower and have a plan in the event of a fall. He cautioned
> that even with the best fall-arrest full body harness, it is very 
> dangerous
> to let the climber hang very long in the harness as the force of the leg
> straps in the groin area can shut-off blood circulation. It has been 
> fatal.
> He demo'd one little gadget, like a reeled-up harness, that you hook ahead
> of your climb that catch's you immediately; with no drop at all; much, I
> think, as a vehicle safety belt does. Gradual  movement around the tower 
> or
> climbing does not set it off; but a "instant thrust" (my words) does; 
> again,
> much like a vehicle safety belt.
> He said that  OSHA does not approve climbing gear; but does dis-approve
> climbing gear.
> As a climber of my own and others towers; it sure got me to thinking. If 
> you
> ever have the opportunity to view one of these demonstrations; I highly
> recommend it. Especially for those of us that need to be re-educated from
> using the old conventional belt-only climbing belt. Sure it worked and
> worked good; but it is full of weaknesses.
> Mike, K5UO
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