[TowerTalk] Position of fall arrest lanyard

Dick Green WC1M wc1m at msn.com
Wed Jun 14 15:58:08 EDT 2006

Excellent question. I've wondered the same thing. There have been a number
of posts on this reflector indicating that serious injury can occur if you
fall with a fall-arrest lanyard attached to the front D-ring, and that the
correct point of attachment is the back D-ring. Presumably, being yanked
hard and suspended by the front D-ring can cause back injury. 

It would be nice to have references to studies or other empirical data
supporting this claim. If such evidence really exists, then I find it
irresponsible that Petzl, a company that appears to have considerable
expertise in this area, recommends front attachment in brochures for
harnesses that have both front and back D-rings. Shouldn't OSHA be on their
case? OTOH, if people are posting bogus claims about safety procedures
simply because the believe them, then that's irresponsible, too. Looks like
at least one party is irresponsible.

I can tell you that it's cumbersome to climb and move around on the tower
with the Y-tail attached to the back D-ring, so if the evidence says it's
safe to put a Y-tail on the front D-ring, I would do it. Also, I've often
wondered whether being yanked hard by the back D-ring could result in my
face slamming into the tower.

Nonetheless, my feeling is that the ideal climbing system consists of a
safety cable slider attached to the front D-ring, a fall-arrest lanyard with
one or two hooks attached to the back D-ring, and a positioning belt
attached to the side D-rings. That way, the whole front-back thing is moot.
I'm seriously considering a safety cable for my new tower, but I don't yet
know if any of the available systems can safely fit between the tower and
the three TIC rings it will support.

73, Dick WC1M

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Neil Mayo [mailto:neilmayo at brightok.net] 
> Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 1:12 PM
> To: towertalk at contesting.com
> Subject: [TowerTalk] Position of fall arrest lanyard
> I know this has been tackle before, but can I please have 
> your thoughts on which is the best position for the fall 
> arrest lanyard, front or back. I use the back, but ran across 
> this picture today
> http://en.petzl.com/petzl/ProConseils?Conseil=50&Activite=19
> Neil Mayo

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