A guided type fall arrester with a flexible anchor line (in accordance with EN 353-2) is designed to temporarily secure a vertical ladder. However, it can also be used as a securing system for carrying out a range of different tasks high up. Guided type fall arresters with a flexible anchor line are standard components in a typical personal protective equipment kit (PPE).
This type of securing system is based on a guide cable (“flexible anchor line”), a fall arrester, and, where required, an energy absorber. Connector elements are attached to both the energy absorber and the other end of the guide cable. Textile lanyard energy absorbers are often used to minimise the ensuing force in the case of a fall. In order to meet the broad range of conditions presented by the different working environments, guided type fall arresters are available in a number of different lengths.
The user has to attach the carabiner of the guide cable to the anchorage device and the carabiner of the lanyard energy absorber to the anchorage eyelet of his/her safety harness. The anchorage device in question may be a single anchorage point or a roof safety hook . It could also be a glider in a lifeline or rail safety system. Whilst you are working, the fall arrester is used to adjust the guide cable so as to prevent falls wherever possible (retention system) or at least to ensure that the free fall distance is reduced to a minimum (arresting system). In some cases, the fact that the guide cable is actually quite long may tempt the user to use it incorrectly. If possible, free falls should be prevented wherever possible, whereby the fall distance must never exceed that described in the operating manuals belonging to the respective components. If a guided type fall arrester with a flexible anchor line is used horizontally, you must take care to ensure that this has also been tested for falls over an edge.
When used as a vertical lifeline, a guided type fall arrester is never used to shorten the cable distance. Instead, the guided type fall arrester glides along the guide cable on its own - following the user’s movements. If a sudden load is exerted on the device - in the case of a fall, for example - the fall arrester automatically blocks to arrest the fall.
According to the DGUV specifications, guided type fall arresters which are part of a personal fall protection kit must be regularly inspected by a PPE specialist (at least every 12 months). Irrespective of these regulations, a maximum usage period is stipulated by the manufacturer. Once this period has lapsed, the device may no longer be deployed - regardless of its condition - and then needs to be replaced.