Value of a Temporary Lifeline (First Man Up System)

Value of a Temporary Lifeline (First Man Up System)

Setting Up a Temporary Lifeline (First Man Up System)

A First Man Up system or a Temporary Lifeline is a common term in the tower and climbing world. We use it when multiple climbers need to ascend a tower on which there is no easy backup lifeline (usually meaning there is no ladder climbing safety cable or similar equipment) and the climber must use double leg shock absorbing lanyards while climbing. We all know that this is a must when no other backup lifelines are present, but we also know that it adds time and depletes the energy of the climber even on short climbs. One of the most underused tools in a tower climber’s kit is setting up a First Man Up system or Temporary Lifeline. This consists of a lifeline connected to the highest necessary point on a structure and a rope grab for each climber.

First Man Up or Temporary Lifeline Benefits

Setting up a temporary lifeline has many benefits such as:

  • Providing an easy means for a second climber to ascend the tower without using lanyards or cable grab (especially if a cable climb system is not available or unable to pass inspection).
  • Climbers can be fully confident in their backup system at all times by inspecting the lifeline before and after each use while on the ground.
  • Allowing for a pre-rigged rescue lifeline in case of an emergency.

Setting up a temporary lifeline doesn’t only have to be done on the initial climb. Shorter lengths of lifeline can be used on any part of the tower if climbing up and down within short distances multiple times is necessary. Consider attaching a large antenna or microwave dish. Using a 40ft length of lifeline and attaching it above the uppermost area of where you are working will allow you to climb all over the structure without requiring you to attach and unattach your shock absorbing lanyards every 5ft or so.

Worth the Effort?

If you are reading this from a Cost-Benefit Analysis perspective (hopefully that is not the case), consider the time savings and increased production that a Temporary Lifeline has to offer. Conserving the energy of your climbers will indeed lead to an increased production per day and that will certainly show how the investment of a Temporary Lifeline is well worth the cost.

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