I'm a big fan of Self Retracting Lifelines (Retractables), but sometimes the cost prevents lanyard users from jumping into retractable land. With that in mind, I've constructed the top 5 reasons to use a retractable. Can I convince you?
5. Rescue Capabilities - Coming in at number five are the rescue capabilities. I put this number five because it is not a feature that every SRL has, but if you can find a retractable that doubles as a rescue unit, you're killing two birds with one stone.
4. Fall Clearance - As some of you know, I hate the Fall Clearance Calculation. One of the benefits of retractables is that they stop very quickly in the event of a fall. Now, I'm NOT saying you can disregard fall clearance all together, but retractables make that calculation a hell of a lit easier.
3. Durability - In the durability department, retractables kick lanyard ass. There I said it. Sure, most retractables need to be re-certified every 1-2 years, but most lanyards can't put up with that much abuse. Don't believe me? Check out this article. I like the idea that my equipment is getting re-checked by professionals on a regular basis. I tend to think of the re-certification as a benefit as opposed to a hassle.
2. Easy to Use - Let's face it, these things are easy to use. Do you know how to walk? Good. Then you should be able to handle working with a retractable. And because retractables work with you, you won't have a big long cord to worry about tripping over, like a lanyard. Seriously, attach a retractable to your anchor and D-Ring and your set. It seems simple because it is simple.
1. Perfect Length - A 6 ft. lanyard only gives you six feet of working distance. If you need to go 7 ft. you either need a new lanyard, a new anchor point or to move your existing anchor. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pain in the ass. On the other hand, a 50 ft. retractable is just as safe working at 3, 6, 7, or 42 ft. That is nice. I'm not a rocket scientist, but I think that capability could actually save you money.
I encourage you and your companies to consider a retractable the next time you're in the market for a lanyard.
What do you think? Did I miss any other benefits? Or is buying a retractable a waste of money. Let me know in the comments section.