EN 354 Personal fall protection equipment - Lanyards 

EN 354:2010 supersedes EN 354:2002 and specifies the requirements, test methods, marking, manufacturer information, and packaging for lanyards. Lanyards conforming to this European standard are used as connectors and components in personal fall protection systems (e.g., restraint systems, work positioning systems, rope access systems, fall arrest systems, and rescue systems). 

Lanyards are a standard component in the fall protection systems for those working at height, with a variety of designs, lengths, materials, and configurations. Since lanyards are exposed to intense wear and tear during use, rigorous testing of their protective capacities is imperative. This updated standard increases the amount of testing required to ensure that CE-marked lanyards provide appropriate protection against these worksite hazards.

Summary of key changes:
Design
The requirement in EN 354:2002 that lanyards measure 2m (at maximum) has been eliminated, meaning lanyards longer than 2m now fall under the scope of this standard. The only design requirement is that lanyards must be marked with their lengths (±5%).

Testing conditions
Specific conditioning requirements have been added. Test samples must be conditioned at 23oC (±5oC) and 65% (±5%) relative humidity (rh) for at least 24 hours prior to testing.

Additionally, “wet and cold” and “very cold” conditions have been added. Lanyards tested in accordance with EN 354:2010 must be subjected to “wet and cold” conditions; subjecting lanyards to the “very cold” condition is optional but recommended for lanyards intended for use in temperatures to as low as -30oC.

Slippage
EN 354:2010 includes an adjustable lanyard slippage test (see the related test in EN 358:1999). To pass this test, the adjustment device must not slip more than 50mm. The assignation of a “very cold” performance rating requires that the slippage test be repeated after the test samples have been subjected to “very cold” conditioning.

Static strength
The standard retains the 2002 edition’s 22kN static strength requirement for textile. Lanyards constructed entirely from metal are subjected to a 15kN static strength test, as they are more resilient to wear and tear. Test methods for twin-tail lanyards are now included. Any multi-leg lanyard must be tested in all possible configurations and to a force of either 22kN (textile) or 15kN (metal). Each configuration should be tested in relevant conditions.

Dynamic
Lanyards that include a length adjustment device must be subjected to a dynamic strength test. This test differs from previous tests for adjustable lanyards. A 100kg test mass must be attached to the test sample through a standard 2m lanyard. The mass is raised 2m above the attachment point, creating a free-fall distance of 4m. To pass this test, the lanyard must prevent the test mass from touching the ground. Note: measuring the forces generated is not required.

Following the dynamic test, the adjustment device must be subjected to a 3kN static strength test to determine the lanyard’s residual strength. If the lanyard can withstand this force for 3 minutes after the mass is dropped, the lanyard will have met the standard’s requirements.

Corrosion
Metallic components’ susceptibility to corrosion is now assessed following a 48-hour exposure time (note: in the preceding standard, the exposure time was 24 hours). Increased exposure to the neutral salt spray can lead to the failure of metallic components used in products that were tested against the 24-hour exposure time requirement. It is likely that a lengthier exposure time will result in the use of stronger coatings on lanyards’ metal components.

Product marking
Product markings must indicate the lanyard’s length and its date of manufacture. Information regarding the pictogram, model/type, and marking has been moved to EN 365.