According to which standard should a horizontal lifeline be tested?

Latchways fall stop system

A lifeline system must be tested in accordance with the relevant standards applicable in that region.

European Standards for Lifeline Systems Testing

EN 795:1996 has been withdrawn and replaced with EN 795:2012 (recently updated), also supported by CEN TS 16415:2013 Technical Specification. The reason for the change was to ensure the performance of the anchorage systems. EN 795:2012 presents the test requirements and test methods for anchor devices used for the fall protection of a single user. Even if they are used to restrain access, anchor devices must be able to stop a fall.

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CEN TS 16415:2013 presents the requirements and test methods for anchor devices used by more than one person simultaneously. As with EN 795:2012, although they are intended to restrain access, the anchor devices must be able to stop a fall. The test methods consider a simultaneous fall of two users, of 200 kg combined weight, with additional users with a weight of 100 kg each.

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The MSA Latchways Constant Force series has been tested and meets the requirements of both standards: EN 795: 2012 and CEN TS 16415: 2013.

Is it necessary for a system to be tested beyond the standard specifications?

Yes. Ideally, a fall protection system should be tested for misuse.

Being a world leader on fall protection - and being also committed to user safety - MSA has always believed in testing according to the standard, but also in testing beyond the standard specifications. MSA considers that Latchways systems should be easy to use, while testing them also for misuse.

How can you know that a lifeline system is compliant?

A system must be tested independently by an accredited body and this must be proven with a Declaration or a Certificate of Conformity.

The Latchways Constant Force system has been independently tested by SATRA and the compliance statements are available on request.

What marking elements should have a compliant system?

According to EN 795:2012, a system must be clearly marked with the following information:

  1. Means of identification, e.g.: the name of the manufacturer, the name of the distributor;
  2. Lot number or serial number or other means of identification;
  3. Identification by model and type;
  4. The number and the year of the document the equipment complies to;
  5. An icon or other method to indicate the user's obligation to read the instructions for use.

The Latchways Constant Force system present all these marking elements:

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How does MSA test products beyond standard specifications?

Testing on the roof

MSA conducts an extensive testing of representative roof systems. This means that a roof of 6 x 6 m is built with special attention on the supporting structure: sills, decks, spacers, exterior insulation and water barrier. Testing this way guarantees that Latchways systems obtain the manufacturer approvals for the Constant Force post to be installed on a particular roof type.

MSA has tested the Latchways system on more than 500 types of roofs (performing between 6 to 10 tests on each), each test being supported by approval letters from the manufacturer. The manufacturer's approval ensures that a Constant Force system will not damage the roof and will not jeopardize the warranty. With more than 40 years of experience, MSA holds partnerships with many leading roof systems manufacturers to ensure a holistic approach and new relationships are being formed on a regular basis.

Performance dynamic testing (Stage 1)

This test is carried out using a 300 kg weight (the equivalent of a simultaneous fall of three users, which exceeds the specifications of EN 795:2012 and CEN TS 16415: 2013), falling from a height of 1.5 m, with a single post connected to a roof system. This means that the Constant Force system can support up to 3 users working simultaneously at any point in the system, even on the same span.

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Static Load Testing (Stage 2)

For the MSA to determine an appropriate "safety factor", each test in stage 1 is subject to a static load for a certain amount of time. If a safety factor 2 is required, the entire construction, including the Constant Force post, must support a static load equivalent of double of the workload achieved during Stage 1. The value of 10 kN of the Constant Force post should be increased at 20 kN, and held for three minutes while the system should not suffer any malfunction. When all Stage 1 and 2 tests have been performed successfully, the Constant Force post can be installed to stop a fall from height, on a roof.

What other performance features a fall protection system should possess?

Omni-directional testing

A system should be tested to ensure that, in case of a fall, it functions properly, regardless of the user fall trajectory. The Constant Force post - if tested to make sure it can work on any trajectory - can achieve this via the single energy absorber technology Constant Force.

Corrosion resistance test

To ensure the durability of a system, it must be subject to recognized testing regimes of accelerated corrosion. During this test, the system must demonstrate resistance to corrosion under conditions that may normally occur during use in urban, rural, of coast and general industrial applications. The Constant Force post (and its subsequent elements) were tested for 1000 hours of acetic salts spraying in accordance with BS EN ISO 9227:2006 and also for neutral salts spraying in accordance with B117-03.

What additional advantages does a Latchways system present?

Materials and Inspection

For the Latchways series, MSA uses 316 marine grade stainless steel (with a corrosion resistance higher than 304 grade stainless steel), aluminium alloys coated 5083 and PH 17/4 for the critical casted parts. All parts are inspected individually, also the critical components are subjected to an X-ray inspection, also dye penetrant inspection or magnetic particles analysis. The company is certified ISO 9001, therefore the quality is the basis of all the design and manufacturing procedures, and is part of every Latchways process.

Full range

MSA is continuously testing, not just weekly, but daily. With a range of more than 70 main products already available and continuing to built new relationships with the roof manufacturers, Latchways is able to offer a wide range of roof solutions for fall protection.

Recycle

Being an ISO 14001 certified company, MSA understands the importance of using recyclable products, while providing long-term durability. By using aluminium and marine grade stainless steel to manufacture the main components, these requirements can be met with the Constant Force post (which is 100% recyclable).

How do I know my Latchways system will be proper installed?

The Latchways accredited assembly team is critical to the design, installation and successful inspection of any Constant Force system. The installers are MSA exclusive and specialize ONLY in fall protection systems. Also, the Constant Force systems can be installed only by a registered Latchways installer. While this assures the quality of the installation, it also offers to the customers the confidence that the system is installed by a company agreed by Latchways.

What benefits brings to my organisation the acquisition of a lifeline system?

It is important for an organization to consider the long-term benefits of choosing a Latchways system. Although there is an obviously initial expense, an organisation benefits from the Constant Force system because it becomes its asset and it can increase the value of a building. When combined with the long-lasting product "Design Life", MSA provides a range of maintenance packages for the system - via a network of installers - ensuring that the product is not only safe to use, but also that the operating life is guaranteed by periodical inspections.

Why choose a cable-based fall protection solution?

The fall stop systems Latchways Constant Force offer many advantages over solid-rail systems or the systems based on Kernmantle rope.

Resistant and durable

A Latchways Lifeline system typically uses a 8 mm stainless steel cable that provides excellent corrosion and wear resistance. Under normal conditions, a Latchways cable must be used in safety up to 20 years. Also, the stainless steel post is polished to enhance the resistance to corrosion.

Aesthetically pleasing

The Latchways Lifeline System is unobtrusive. The 8 mm cable has a very subtle appearance and the post is electrolytic to be able to co-ordinate with the cable. The Constant Force post is typically only 195 mm high and its colour can be adjusted.

Flexible

The inherent flexibility of a cable-based lifeline system allows it to flex around corners, deviations and inclinations. Fixed systems must be processed off-site, which can cause problems during installation.

Efficient in terms of costs

Solid-rail lifeline systems typically require intermediate posts placed every 2 or 3 meters. The posts for a Latchways cable system are generally positioned at distances of approximately 10 m. Therefore, solid-rail systems are more expensive as they require additional components and more time for installation.

Protects roof integrity

The Constant Force post used in a Latchways Lifeline system is specially designed to fit any modern roof system without affecting its integrity.

Load control

In case of fall from a Constant Force Latchways lifeline system, the loads generated during the fall are absorbed by the Constant Force post rather than being transferred to the roof, building or structure. The post protects the roof, the building or the structure against damage, and, therefore, it simplifies the process of re-certification of the fall stop system.

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