According to the EN 354 standard, a connector is a flexible connecting component in a personal fall protection system.
A connector must have at least two end connections so that it can be connected at one end to your safety harness and at the other to the anchorage device. This connection is usually made using a connector element. You have the option of adjusting the length of the connector. If a connector is used in an arresting system the connector must be equipped with a lanyard energy absorber . The total length of a connector with an energy absorber, including the end connections and connector elements, must not exceed 2 m.
In addition to conventional connectors, Y-connectors and special connectors for working on mobile elevating work platforms are also available.
A Y-connector has a total of three end connections. One of these is used to attach the connector to your safety harness. If you are using an energy absorber, this is located at this end of the connector.. Then there are two more end connections which are used for connecting yourself up to the anchorage device. The idea of these, for example, is to ensure that in the case of a non-traversable lifeline system - or where single anchorage points are used, the connector can be unhooked and hooked back up inside the fall danger zone whilst you remain secure at all times. This is because at least one end of the connector remains connected up to the anchorage device whilst you are moving along.
A Y-connector can also be used to secure yourself when climbing a ladder that is not equipped with a vertical lifeline It is important to ensure that the end connection which is currently not being used is never connected to a load-bearing part of your safety harness as this would disable the energy absorber.
Special connectors are available for use with mobile elevating work platforms. In addition to the specifications set down in EN 354, further criteria also apply to these connectors. These criteria are defined in DIN 19427. Connectors for use with mobile elevating work platforms are equipped with a special mechanism for adjusting the length. The maximum total length of such connectors, including the lanyard energy absorber and connector elements, is 1.8 m.
In order to be able to use the connector, the mobile elevating work platform must be equipped with an anchorage point so that it can be used as an arresting system. This anchor must be at least 35 cm below the top bar. In addition, special care must be taken when working on a mobile elevating work platform to ensure that the connector element connected to the anchorage point can move freely and is not subject to transverse strain or edge stress in the event of a fall. To prevent being hurled from the platform, the connector should always be adjusted to match the shortest distance between the anchorage point and the anchorage eyelet on your safety harness.