[TowerTalk] Climbing belts/harnesses demonstration

Keith Dutson kdutson at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jun 14 14:44:56 EDT 2006

Those reels are very nice and give the worker plenty of mobility.  However,
I understand they are more costly than a simple sewn fall arrest lanyard,
and I don't see the need for one in my tower work.

73, Keith NM5G

-----Original Message-----
From: towertalk-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:towertalk-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Pete Smith
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:41 AM
To: Terry Gerdes; Mike Bragassa; towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Climbing belts/harnesses demonstration

I am fascinated by the description of the fall-arrest device using a reel
similar to those used on auto safety belts.  I have checked the Pinkerton
Sales and Ultra-Safe web sites, but have not seen anything like this.  Did
anyone get a part number or other identifying info?

73, Pete N4ZR

At 10:48 AM 6/14/2006, Terry Gerdes wrote:
>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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