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How to Find the Right Fall Arrest Lanyard

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When thinking about a fall arrest system, we tend to put the focus on the anchors and the actual harness itself. They are obviously very important, but there is a little piece of the system that is oftentimes overlooked: the lanyard.

In order to ensure proper fall protection, each component has to be right. Choosing a fall arrest lanyard is more involved than it might seem. If you are in the market for a new fall arrest lanyard, here are a few things worth taking into consideration.

Fall Force

Among the most important factors when choosing fall arrest lanyards is the specified fall force. Being educated on these components ultimately leads to improved safety. Knowing fall force before making your choice can mean the difference between life and death depending on the job.

Each fall arrest lanyard is rated to support a certain amount of force. For instance, a worker that is about 200 pounds will be subject to as much as 8,000 pounds of force from a fall of 10 feet on abrupt force. There are other factors (including the next one) that play a role in fall force, so be aware of them before comparing fall force parameters.

Length

Choosing fall arrest lanyards isn’t just done on a whim. A critical aspect of getting the right lanyard is ensuring that you have the proper length. In order to limit free falls, it is advised that no more than six feet in length be available when using a fall arrest lanyard. The more room there is to fall, the greater the potential force and impact.

Though there are different fall arrest lanyards featuring different lengths, the idea is to keep things shorter. Some systems are not meant to prevent falls, but rather prevent impact. It may be a better idea to look into a lanyard that helps to prevent falls altogether rather than simply softening the blow.

Compatibility

Though it might go without saying, you can’t necessarily just plug and play every lanyard and connector. Connectors, like snap hooks, scaffold hooks, web loops, or carabiners, should be appropriate at the connection point. Having a less than secure connection point compromises the safety of the worker in the event of a fall.

Many components aren’t interchangeable even if they come from the same manufacturer. It is crucial to evaluate the compatibility of each component to ensure a proper, secure fit. Proper manufacturers even put out technical bulletins to educate the use of each component. Connectors need to remain solid and in place, especially against the excess force exerted in the event of a fall.

Connector Specifications

OSHA is the regulatory firm that issues safety standards and regulations that businesses must follow. OSHA requires that all carabiners and snaphooks be self-closing and self-locking, for instance. Opening and releasing snap hooks need to have two deliberate actions so that it doesn’t open randomly or by accident.

Take the time to inspect all fall safety equipment, not just harnesses and lanyards. Look for signs of wear and tear, replacing components if there is any noticeable damage. Even seemingly miniscule wear and tear can result in a catastrophic failure. It is a risk that is not worth taking.

Fall safety equipment may not be the most complicated to use, but it requires attention to detail in order to ensure that it serves its purpose. Having as much information going into the situation as possible will ensure that every component works the way it was meant to, and that each worker wearing it will remain as safe as possible.

Business

West Wales firm fined £75,000 after man killed by escaped cow

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A WEST WALES company has been fined £75,000 following the death of a 75-year-old man, Huw Evans, who was killed by a cow that had escaped from a livestock market. The incident occurred on November 19, 2022, at Whitland Livestock Market in Carmarthenshire, operated by J.J. Morris Limited.

Father-of-two Mr Evans was crossing the junction at North Road and West Street in Whitland when the cow, which was being auctioned, escaped from the market pen. The animal attacked Mr Evans, knocking him down and trampling him. He suffered multiple injuries and was airlifted to the University Hospital of Wales, where he succumbed to his injuries six days later.

A worker from J.J. Morris Limited was also injured during an unsuccessful attempt to recapture the cow. The cow eventually made its way towards Whitland Rugby Club and a railway line before being subdued and put down by Dyfed-Powys Police.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into the incident and found that J.J. Morris Limited had failed to implement essential physical control measures to prevent cattle from escaping. The HSE concluded that the company’s risk assessment was inadequate, referencing control measures that were not in place at the market.

J.J. Morris Limited, based in Haverfordwest, admitted to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £5,047.55 in costs by Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, June 20.

In court, Mr Evans’ son, Dafydd, expressed his grief, saying: “Dad was my best friend, and I miss him terribly. He was taken from us too soon. Losing dad has had a tremendous effect on both myself and my brother. Because of this incident, dad’s grandsons will never fully know him personally, and he will not see them grow up.”

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Rhys Hughes remarked, “This tragic incident was foreseeable and preventable. The risk posed by cattle escaping from the livestock mart should have been identified, and effective control measures implemented. The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance, which is readily accessible and outlines the requirements to safely manage cattle.”

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Wales international Johnny Williams signs new Scarlets contract

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THE SCARLETS said this week that they are delighted to announce that Wales international centre Johnny Williams has signed a new contract with the club.

The 27-year-old joined the Scarlets from Newcastle Falcons in 2020 and after just four appearances earned his first Wales cap, against Georgia in Llanelli.

A powerful-carrying presence in the Scarlets midfield, he has since made 46 appearances, scoring six tries, including a memorable interception in last season’s Challenge Cup quarter-final win over Clermont Auvergne.

He has won seven caps for Wales, featuring at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “Johnny has been a key member of the side in recent years. He’s a player who is a dynamic carrier, is physical with and without the ball, has a good skill set and has an impact on every game he’s involved in.

“He is an important cog in how we look to play and it’s fantastic that he has agreed a new contract with the club. I know the fans will be thrilled with this news and, along with the likes of Eddie James, Joe Roberts and with Macs Page coming through, we have a lot of talent in that midfield pool for the coming years.”

Johnny Williams said: “I am delighted to have signed a new contract. It has been a frustrating season in terms of results, but I am excited by the potential of the squad we are putting together.

“A lot of young boys have put their hands up and we showed during the final few games of the season the kind of rugby we can produce.

“Pre-season will be around before we know it and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in, ready for a big start to next season.”

Johnny is the latest player to recommit to the Scarlets ahead of the 2024-25 campaign, following Tonga lock Sam Lousi, Wales internationals Tom Rogers and Harri O’Connor and back-rowers Dan Davis and Ben Williams.

Scarlets have also strengthened their squad with the addition of hooker Marnus van der Merwe (Toyota Cheetahs), prop Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs), full-back Ellis Mee (Nottingham), lock Max Douglas (Toyota Canon Eagles), Wales international prop Henry Thomas (Castres Olympique) and back-three player Blair Murray (Canterbury).

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Business

Tata workers call first strikes in 40 years to stop steel destruction

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HISTORIC strikes in Port Talbot as Labour vows emergency talks with Tata after general election

Around 1,500 Tata workers based in Port Talbot and Llanwern will begin all-out indefinite strike action over the company’s plans to cut 2,800 jobs and close its blast furnaces.

The strike action, which begins on 8 July, will severely impact Tata’s UK operations. It is the first time in over 40 years that steel workers in the UK have taken strike action.

The escalation in industrial action comes after the workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, began working to rule and an overtime ban on Tuesday (June 17).

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Tata’s workers are not just fighting for their jobs – they are fighting for the future of their communities and the future of steel in Wales.

“Our members will not standby while this immensely wealthy conglomerate tries to throw Port Talbot and Llanwern on the scrapheap so it can boost its operations abroad. They know South Wales is ideally placed to take advantage of the coming boom in green steel – if the right choices are made.

“The strikes will go on until Tata halts its disastrous plans. Unite is backing Tata’s workers to the hilt in their historic battle to save the Welsh steel industry and give it the bright future it deserves.”

Labour has called for Tata to halt its plans and wait until after the general election to engage in talks with the government, saying there is a ‘better deal to do’. Labour has pledged £3 billion for UK steel if elected next month, a commitment secured by Unite. Labour has also made emergency talks with Tata a priority if it wins the election.

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