Lanyards are a vital part of some fall protection systems, serving as a connector between harnesses and anchor points to either restrict workers from entering into areas of a roof where there is a fall risk, or providing fall arrest if necessary.

But what are the different types of lanyard, and which would best serve your needs? Richard Dyson, Safesite General Manager, explains.

Fall arrest

Fall arrest lanyards usually consist of self-retracting lifelines and are sometimes referred to as hooks, due to the snap hooks on each ‘leg’ of the lanyard, allowing users to remain 100% tied-off even when ropes or cable grabs or not available or practicable.

These lanyards are usually made of rope, webbing or even cable in specialised applications. You will usually be able to identify a fall arrest lanyard from the included shock absorber to absorb force should any fall happen.

Fall restraint

Fall restraint lanyards work differently to fall arrest in that they don’t allow the user to get close enough to a fall risk to actually fall, as such, they do not include shock absorbers.

Essentially, fall restraint lanyards put the user in ‘restraint’ and prevent them from getting close to the leading edge or fall hazard.

Adjustable length restraint lanyards have greater versatility as they can be used in more locations; for example long length restraint lanyards mean that anchorage points can be used when there is no suitable anchorage point in the close work area, although this type of lanyard requires a greater amount of user participation to ensure the correct length is used / adjusted to prevent the risk of possible pendulum falls.

Always fully research your lanyard needs as one type may not work in place of the other, and may put you at risk.


Lanyards are a vital part of some fall protection systems, serving as a connector between harnesses and anchor points to either restrict workers from entering into areas of a roof where there is a fall risk, or providing fall arrest if necessary.

But what are the different types of lanyard, and which would best serve your needs? Richard Dyson, Safesite General Manager, explains.

Fall arrest

Fall arrest lanyards usually consist of self-retracting lifelines and are sometimes referred to as hooks, due to the snap hooks on each ‘leg’ of the lanyard, allowing users to remain 100% tied-off even when ropes or cable grabs or not available or practicable.

These lanyards are usually made of rope, webbing or even cable in specialised applications. You will usually be able to identify a fall arrest lanyard from the included shock absorber to absorb force should any fall happen.

Fall restraint

Fall restraint lanyards work differently to fall arrest in that they don’t allow the user to get close enough to a fall risk to actually fall, as such, they do not include shock absorbers.

Essentially, fall restraint lanyards put the user in ‘restraint’ and prevent them from getting close to the leading edge or fall hazard.

Adjustable length restraint lanyards have greater versatility as they can be used in more locations; for example long length restraint lanyards mean that anchorage points can be used when there is no suitable anchorage point in the close work area, although this type of lanyard requires a greater amount of user participation to ensure the correct length is used / adjusted to prevent the risk of possible pendulum falls.

Always fully research your lanyard needs as one type may not work in place of the other, and may put you at risk.


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Priestley Way
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