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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

In the world of fall protection, manufacturer policies for safe and proper product use are constantly evolving as a result of information derived from product testing, newly released standards and regulations, and demand from various industries. And one such area where Guardian Fall Protection policy has adapted to best meet the needs of our customers relates to the question of self-retracting lifeline (SRL) recertification.

What is SRL recertification?

It is the assurance by the manufacturer that an SRL, which has been in use in the field, continues to meet the strictest safety and performance standards. It typically involves shipping the SRL back to the manufacturer for a complete inspection and repair by a manufacturer trained representative. The unit is then sent back to the customer, in effect with its “clock” reset.

Previously, Guardian required all applicable SRLs (cable units only, as web units are predominately unrepairable) to be recertified every two years, however this has not been the case for some time. We will always work with customers to recertify an SRL, but the specific timeline for recertification is in the hands of the customer (as it should be).

How do you determine if an SRL requires recertification?

Simple: either their company policy requires recertification occur at a set interval, or the SRL is in need of repair. But really, in today’s world, repair and recertification are synonymous; if you send an SRL into Guardian for repair, it will be recertified at the same time.

And the key for determining whether an SRL requires repair is to perform careful inspections to ensure every component is free of all damage and in top working condition. Guardian requires all SRLs to be inspected prior to each use by the end user, and at least every six months by a Competent Person other than the end user. If at any point damage is found during the inspection process, the unit must be immediately removed from service and either disposed of or sent in for repair.

If, however, SRL recertification is a part of a customer’s company policy, Guardian is here to help as well. The key components for determining a proper interval for SRL recertification are the frequency of use, potential for exposure to hazards or contamination, and the conditions in which the SRL is used and stored.

If, for example, an SRL is used infrequently (once or twice a year) in routine maintenance work, and is stored in a dry and room temperature environment, any sort of company recertification policy will want to consider that the unit will likely remain in top working condition for a long period of time. But, if an SRL is used daily at an oil or gas refinery, and is frequently exposed to excessive heat or cold, the unit will be at an increased risk for damage, which should be accounted for by company policy. Note that any sort of recertification policy is completely optional, but can provide an additional fail check to Guardian’s mandatory dual level inspection process.

What does ANSI say?

In the ANSI Z359.14 SRL fall protection standard, ANSI provides us with a reference table for SRL use in respect to recommended inspection frequency, which can also be used to help determine at what period, if any, company policy should require recertification.

 

Type of Use Application Examples Conditions of Use Inspection Frequency
Infrequent - Light
  • Rescue
  • Confined Space
  • Factory Maintenance
  • Good Storage Conditions
  • Indoor Or Infrequent Outdoor Use
  • Room Temperature
  • Clean environment
Annually
Moderate - Heavy
  • Transportation
  • Residential Construction
  • Utilities
  • Warehouse
  • Fair Storage Conditions
  • Indoor And Extended Outdoor Use
  • All Temperatures
  • Clean Or Dusty Environements
Semi-Annually - Annually
Severe - Continuous
  • Commercial construction
  • Oil And Gas
  • Mining
  • Harsh storage conditions
  • Prolonged Or Continous Outdoor Use
  • All Temperatures
  • Dirty Environment
Quarterly - Semi-Annually

Here, it’s important to reemphasize just how important it is to remove an SRL from service if any damage is found during inspection. Frays or kinks in cable, illegible labels, excessive contamination, and much more can all result in potentially dangerous use, but can all be easily and skillfully repaired by Guardian if caught ahead of time. Always refer to the instructions provided with equipment for the complete inspection process required by the manufacturer. 

Now that I know...what do I do next?

Refer to our easy-to-follow inspection forms under our resources section to help in guiding you through conducting a thorough and accurate inspection of your safety products.

Or, if you are interested in becoming a Competent Person and learning the skills to properly inspect equipment, learn more about the numerous training courses Guardian has available.

And, for a more in-depth look at our repair process, check out the interview we recently conducted with our SRL repair manager, Frank Ivy, about his experience repairing (and recertifying) SRLs.

SRL Recertification