Northern Strands
Northern Strands Latest News

Latest News

How are Self-Retracting Lifelines rated in Canada, and when you need to recertify them

At Northern Strands, we are often asked questions regarding Fall Protection regulations and equipment recertification. One of the most common questions we receive is, "How are Self-Retracting Lifelines rated in Canada, and when do we need to recertify them?"

Here is how the governing body classes and rates SRL’s in Canada. Most of what you will find online is written in the US and the standards they use for fall protection are the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z359 series, in Canada, we go by a different standard, CSA Z259.

Where SRLs are concerned, the specific volume of the CSA Standards that pertains to them is the CSA Z259.2.2-17 standard. The “-17” part means that it was last updated in 2017, but did not come into force until 2019. 

This iteration of the standard also introduced a new “revalidation schedule”:

Type of useApplication ExamplesExample Conditions of UseUser Inspection FrequencyCompetent Person Inspection Frequency Revalidation Frequency
Infrequent to lightRescue/confined space, factory maintenanceGood storage conditions, indoor use, room temperature, clean environmentsBefore each useAnnuallyAt least every 5 years but not more than the intervals required by the manufacturer
Moderate to heavyTransportation, residential construction, utilities, warehouseFair storage conditions, indoor & extended outdoor use, various temperatures, clean & dusty environmentsBefore each useSemi-annually to annuallyAt least every 2 years but not more than intervals required by the manufacturer
Severe to continuousCommercial construction, oil and gas, mining, foundryHarsh storage conditions, prolonged or continuous use, all temperatures, dirty environmentsBefore each useQuarterly to semi-annuallyAt least annually but not more than the intervals required by the manufacturer

This standard’s predecessor, the Z259.2.2-14, classified SRLs into one of three types:

Type 1 – SRL length is 3m or less

Type 2 – SRL Length is greater than 3m, must be recertified 2 years after date of manufacturer and annually thereafter

Type 3 – SRL is designed with a retrieval system, every manufacturer is different, but it is usually some version of a hand crank on the SRL case. These also were required to be recertified 2 years after the date of manufacturer and annually thereafter

However, with the publication of the Z259.2.2-17 standard came a new classification system:

SRL:  Self Retracting Lifelines

SRL-LE: Self Retracting Lifeline, Leading Edge (where the lifeline might come in contact with a sharp edge or abrasive surface during a fall)

SRL – R: Self Retracting Lifeline, Rescue (retrieval system on the SRL)

SRL – LE – R: Self Retracting Lifeline, Leading Edge Rescue (combines the benefits of leading-edge protection and retrieval SRL)

The confusing part for everyone is that manufacturers are still producing and selling units that meet the specifications of both versions of the standard, but it’s important to know that ultimately either version of the standard is acceptable under provincial legislation. The most important thing is to find an SRL that suits your needs and keeps its users safe. An added benefit of seeking out an SRL that complies with the newer, “-17” version of the standard is that it may not have to be sent in for recertification as frequently depending on the conditions you are using them in.

Bring your companies SRL's to Northern Strands to have them revalidated / recertified. Or alternatively, you can purchase a new 3M SLR from Northern Strands. 

Phone: 306-242-7073

Need Fall Protection In a Tight Space? Northern Strands Can Provide a Solution

Northern Strands fall protection division was asked to perform an almost impossible task. The goal was to provide fall protection for workers that had to stand on top of food processing equipment to clean long sections of stainless steel.

During the initial onsite assessment, we realized we were going to have multiple issues trying to design a system for this particular area of the plant.  Due to the age and condition of the roof structure, it was going to be difficult to attach any fall protection equipment to the structure of the building.  When attaching any type of fall protection to a building it is imperative that the building can withstand any additional loads put on it which includes the fall protection system itself and any loads applied from a fall that could occur once the system is in use.  Another issue encountered was the fact that the area we were going to be working in had a lot of food processing equipment in a small area. With such a small footprint to work with, we recognized that installing a fall protection system that would best meet the needs of the client would be a difficult task to execute.

Due to the lack of clearance we had in the area we knew that a wire rope lifeline would not be a great fit for this situation as we needed to limit the fall distance a worker would encounter in the case of a fall.  Rigid rail was going to be our best option as it helps with clearance issues and gives the client an option for rescue if a worker were to fall.

Our design team was able to design stanchions that would allow our rigid rail system to cover all the areas that were required by the client and still be large enough to support the fall protection system ensuring the system met and exceeded all applicable industry standards.

The Northern Strands installation crew was able to layout the system so the client was still able to use and maintain all the equipment in the area which was a huge hurdle to cross.  With some very complicated rigging, the crew was able to install the stanchions and fall protection system promptly so the client was able to get up and running in a short amount of time.

The Northern Strands team was happy to take on this challenge and successfully help this client out.  Instead of saying “it can’t be done”, the team dug in and found a way to “get it done”.  Doing whatever we can to help a client stay safe is our number one priority and this was one instance where we had to get creative to meet our goal. Happy clients are always well worth the struggle.

Before the rigid rail system is installed.

After picture with rigid rail system installed

Engineered Fall Protection Division
3235 Millar Ave, Saskatoon SK, S7W 0S8

Dave Perrin - Fall Protection Sales
Fax: (306) 974-5527

Northern Strands' Engineers Offer Fall Protection Design Advice

Northern Strands is excited to announce our latest service, Fall Protection Design Lunch & Learns.  In person or via webinar. Learn the ins and outs of the fundamental principles of Fall Protection Design. Our team can teach the key points in Fall Protection design


Some of the topics covered in the Lunch & Learn will include: CSA Z259, Lifeline Design, Fall Protection Design, Anchor Loading, Fall Protection Layout, ANSI Fall Protection, Suspended Access, and more. For qualified companies we are offering Fall Protection Design lunch and learns in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.


Fall Protection is a serious business. Designing Engineered Fall Protection systems is a responsibility and privilege that we do not take lightly. 

Design experience is paramount. Backed by an experienced team with a thorough understanding of the applicable engineering principles, Northern Strands applies these principles to both flexible and rigid systems.