In the spirit of innovation and (again) listening to our customers, we are in the process of developing a new safety product. This new innovation will be a breakaway link for tag lines.
We have considered this option before but were concerned that if not designed properly- a breakaway link might cause an additional hazard that outweighed the benefit of the link.
Recently, we received a call from a customer who requested that we take a new look at this option since they had recently had an incident where a tag line caught and was pulled to the point of breaking. The stored energy from the tag line parting caused a lost time injury.
We’ve taken a new look at this and determined that we will begin testing a new concept that should allow the tag line to have the strength to do its job but also to be able to break at a tensile strength that will reduce the potential injury from a violent break. It will also need to keep a consistent strength and not be too susceptible to weakening in offshore UV and salt conditions.
The new breakaway link will be made from nylon and the weak link will be from the plastic clasp. The clasp will be superior to a metal weak link (in that) it will not corrode and is UV resistant. The rigger will simply add this link between the load and the tag line and conduct the lift normally. The idea is that if the tag line becomes tangled, it will break at hundreds and not thousands of pounds. It will be strong enough to maneuver the load with the tag line but not so strong that it will have a violent break when it gives way. We will continue to get feedback from our customers but stay tuned for this new safety product and its development.