SIR No. 276: Fall from height after failure of retractable type lanyard

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Summary of incident

In June 2018, a scaffolder fell while crossing a void 5.7 metres above the ground. The scaffolder was wearing a fall arrest harness with a retractable type lanyard connected to a horizontal guardrail of a scaffold platform. When stepping 1.3 metres laterally to access a pipe support structure, the inertia reel mechanism of the lanyard engaged, impacting the scaffolder’s balance. This caused the scaffolder to fall backwards through the void and swing against the scaffold structure. The webbing on the retractable lanyard then sheared below the shock (energy) absorber component. The scaffolder fell approximately four metres, landing on a staircase and dislocating his shoulder.

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This incident is a good example of why preventive maintanance and inspection intervals must be adhered to. Talk to AME if you have any inspection doubts or call us to arrange a plant Inspection.