EN 360: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height – retractable-type fall arresters.

This European Standard describes the requirements, test methods, marking, manufacturer information, and packaging specifications for retractable-type fall arresters. Retractable-type fall arresters that conform to this standard constitute one of the fall arrest systems covered by EN 363 when combined with a full body harness as specified in EN 361. Other types of fall arresters are specified in EN 353-1 and EN 353-2. Energy absorbers are specified in EN 355.

Retractable lanyards
Devices that contain a lanyard that joins a full body harness and a secure anchorage device are available in various lengths but must retract, guided by a spring-loaded mechanism, into a drum in the device’s casing. In the case of a fall, a braking component will cause the drum to lock, arresting the fall of the wearer in as short a distance as possible.

Dynamic Performance
Retractable lanyards are subject to a drop test similar to that used for standard lanyards. Using a solid 100 kg test mass to measure arrest distance and arrest force, the drop height for this test is fixed at 600 mm, irrespective of the device’s total length. A clip is applied to the lanyard at 600 mm to prevent it from being retracted into its casing and to and allow for an unobstructed fall. The lanyard should not deploy (i.e., stretch, open, tear) beyond a maximum length of 1.4m, essentially arresting the fall within 2m from the point of release, and with a maximum arrest force of 6 kN.

Locking after Conditioning
For mechanical devices, additional testing is required to ensure they are not adversely affected by environmental conditions. Devices are checked for their locking function by dropping a mass of at least 5 kg following the devices’ conditioning at 50°C with 85 % relative humidity for at least 2 hours, at -30°C for at least 2 hours, and after being sprayed with 70 litres of water per hour for at least 3 hours. Submerging devices in diesel oil and dust are the conditions for additional, optional tests.

Static Strength
Textile lanyards are subjected to a 15 kN tensile force, metal lanyards, 12 kN. Tensile forces are applied and held for at least 3 minutes to ensure that the product’s breaking strength exceeds the force specified in the standard.

Corrosion Resistance
Metallic components used in fall protection equipment are subjected to a neutral salt spray test to determine whether the product can provide a minimum resistance to environmental corrosion (e.g., rust). Products are held in a sealed chamber filled with a saltwater mist, which can cause untreated metals to rust. Products are subjected to either 24 or 48 hours of exposure and examined thereafter for signs of rust and to assess whether each device can continue to function properly.