Inertia Reel. How It Works!
Inertia reels are used to reduce fall distance for when working at height. Reduction in fall distance equates to less chance of injury. They are made from a retractable synthetic fibre rope, webbing or wire rope that is stored on a reel within a protective housing. The reel is spring-biased to wind the reel in. In the event of a fall, the inertia reel is rapidly pulled out of the housing until it reaches a critical velocity (the “lock-on speed”) at which point the brake mechanism engages and the clutch mechanism decelerates the user over a short distance sometimes the inertia reels may use an external tear-web type energy absorber. The installed inertia reel swivel prevents twisting of the fall arrest system as a result of the worker moves around.
The inertia reels should always be used above the user’s shoulders to ensure their effectiveness. When deciding on using a fall arrest inertia reel system, particular attention should be paid to the situation and whether it is the right option. Inertia reels are not suitable in a situation where a worker might not reach the speed necessary for the inertia reel to activate. This could be a steep sloping roof or an unstable materials which could partially support the workers weight. Please note that inertia reels are not a working support harness and they are not designed for continuous support.