Using an Inertia Reel

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6 min 34 sec
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What I am going to do now is I am going to make my way up to the top of the ladder using my lanyards. Now, dependent on where I am at the top of the ladder depends on whether I need to use my work positioning belt to put me in the position where I can actually go hands-free and put together what I need to put together. It may be a case where I could actually stand on a platform that is available to me up there. In this scenario, though, what I will do is I will use my work positioning belt. So, as you can see, again, how it all operates together. So, starting with making sure my lanyards are put fairly high because we do need to think about those fall factors, I am going to start to climb the ladder, making sure that I have always got one attached before I un-attach the other. So, I am making my way up, I am going to un-attach one, attach it, un-attach, attach, always making sure I have a contact with the ladder. I am going to get to the highest point I can where I need to start putting my other equipment together.

The lanyard is nice and high to reduce the fact of the fall. So now that I have my lanyards in place, obviously making sure that I am minimising the distance of my fall, I am going to put my work positioning belt on by disconnecting from this side here. I am going to take it around the rungs of the ladder, connecting to my opposite side. I do need to pull a little bit of slack though, so all I am going to do here, as you can see, just pulling a little bit of rope there. And what that allows is me to be drawn in a little bit closer to where I am going to be working. From this point, I need to open my bag. My sling is going to be attached up here, as high as I can possibly get it, wrapping it around as many times as I can to try and get my sling, so as it is as close where I am going to be attaching it to the rung of the ladder as possible. No, I am not happy with that, so I will come back one, it is not a problem, to that point there. So now I am going to get my inertia reel and connect it up to my sling.

Once I have connected up, obviously, I will need to screw my gate up on my carabiner. As you can see, my gate is screwing upwards, which it is okay, but in an ideal world, we have got to think about gravity. So, what I would actually do here because of the position of my carabiner, is I have turned my carabiner around so that when my gate is locked, I have screwed downwards. So, gravity could not actually bring it open. Once I have that set up like so, my last piece that I need is a normal piece of string. And all I am going to do with that is feed it into the carabiner where my inertia pulls up and down. Lower the string down to the ground, or close to where I can reach. Now, from this point I have two choices: I can either come back down with my lanyards; or, to make life easier, I can attach to my inertia reel and use that instead of my lanyards.

Because I am going to attach to my inertia reel I must make sure that my lanyards are still connected until I have fully attached to the inertia reel. Then I can disconnect my lanyards because I must have that point of contact all the time. So, I shall grab my inertia reel, connect it on to my front fall arrest point, screw the gate up on my carabiner. Because I am now attached, and I am in fall arrest of my inertia reel, I can now take my lanyards off and stow them away.

Making sure I do not get everything all tangled up.

Now, in fall arrest, I still have my work positioning belt on, so I now need to take that off. So just putting a little bit of slack in to allow me the movement, disconnecting from my one side here, changing to my opposite side so as I can stow it away. I am now connected, as we can see, to my inertia reel, which then allows me to just climb up and down the ladder as if it was a normal free climb.

A piece of rope we have here. Why do I have that piece of rope? Well, when I undo my inertia reel, it is going to want to go all the way back to the top. I do not want to let it go because it will go at a fair speed and it could potentially hurt somebody if there was somebody else up there. So, the rope here, the first point of it is, it allows me to feed it back up to where it belongs. But if I come here and I want to go back up, I again can grab hold of my piece of rope to pull the piece of equipment down to me, attach myself up and then make my way back up. Okay. Finally, just so as you most probably noticed when I was actually putting all that equipment together up there, wherever possible, what we should be doing is making sure we have it attached to us so as we are not having any objects that could potentially be dropped and fall to the ground. So, wherever possible, I would attach them to me until I have attached them to wherever I need them to be attached. Sometimes, though, it may not be the case where we are able to do that.