How to use an inertia reel correctly

When considering the use of inertia reels, bear in mind that they might not be effective in certain situations. For example, if a worker falls down the inclined surface of a steeply pitched roof, the inertia reel line may keep extending from the reel—it may not lock.

Inertia reels should not be used as working supports by locking the system and allowing it to support the user during normal work. They are not designed for continuous support.

Vertical and self-retracting anchorage lines can be used as a risk control measure in connection with work performed from boatswains’ chairs and ladders. Where such lines are used, only one person may be attached to any one line.

Lanyards should not be used in conjunction with inertia reels as this can result in an excessive amount of free fall prior to the fall being arrested.

Inertia reels are designed to place you in a situation of limited free fall, if set up correctly.  That means the operator, provided the unit is set directly above the head cannot free fall more than .6m.  Thus reducing the risks of injury.