Hunting for the perfect retractable can be tricky. However, there are three things you'll want to pay special attention to. What are the three components of a self retracting lifeline you should be looking at? Read on silly...
Line: The single most important component to any retractable has to be the lifeline housed inside. You need the determine the material of the line as well as the length of the line. Retractables can come in length from 6 ft. to 200 ft. The circumstances of your job, determine the length. Material-wise, SRL's are usually available in polyester webbing, galvanized steel, or stainless steel. Work with concrete? Get a web retractable. Spend your days welding? Get a galvanized retractable. Work in the food industry? Get a stainless steel retractable.
Housing: The next item to take a look at is the housing. The housing is the unit that holds the coil of lifeline. Ideally, you would want to find the most durable housing with the lightest possible weight. You want a durable housing that can handle its fair share of abuse and protect all of the fancy inner workings of the retractable. In addition to that, a lightweight SRL is easier to get from job to job.
Impact Indicator: I wrote impact indicator here, but I'm actually going to talk about a little more than that. Your retractable should have an impact indicator. How else are you supposed to know if it has been in a fall? If your retractable has been in a fall, it must be repaired. Which brings me to my second point. Almost all retractables have to be re-certified. This means that every one or two years (regardless of a fall) it needs to be inspected by the manufacturer. This is something you want to take a look at when searching for your next retractable.
Remember these three areas when shopping for your next retractable, and you'll be on the right path. What do you look for in a good retractable?