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Leigh-Dowie T Line Fall Protection Safety System

Members Inventions

T-Line Fall Protection Safety system

Inventor: Leigh Dowie (IAAWA) 


Civil and structural engineer, Leigh Dowie had experienced the difficulties associated with fall protection equipment. While working on an expansion project for a large gas facility, Leigh was amazed to find that a simpler fall arrest system did not exist. He has spent the last 3 years developing a system in response to these concerns. Although the system has changed a lot since its first inception, the basic mode of operation remains the same. He has come up with a device that enables the user to move both horizontally and vertically with the upmost freedom.


How it works

The T-Line Safety System relatively small and light (15kg) and can be easily carried and erected single handedly  The system is self-retracting and can just as easily be removed from service, up and out of the way,

The user attaches to the safety line loop via a lanyard, which clips into a specific attachment point on the safety line loop.

While working at height with the T-Line Safety System, the user is free to move about the working platform in an unrestrained manner. The user can freely move to a platform at different level.  The device will automatically extend or retract the loop of safety-line to suit the new location.  However, if the user descends at a rate that exceeds the maximum permitted by the device, a locking mechanism will actuate and prevent any further descent. Even once the locking mechanism has operated the device will permit lateral movement of the user. It is this feature that facilitates the retrieval of the suspended user -  the device allows the user to be pulled back towards the platform.

The breaking system within the pulley will actuate under high forces. In the event of a fall, the fall arrest breaking mechanism on the spool will stop the descent, while the pulley break prevents lateral movement. The pulley break stops the user rolling back towards the centre of the T-Line.

The retrieval system works by enabling the rescuers to manually rotate the spools of the safety-line that are housed within the spool end of the device. This is achieved by using an external handle to rotate the spool-locking shaft. Doing this has no negative effect upon the spool-locking device and as such the safety of the fallen user is assured at all times. The winch system can be used in reverse to lower the worker.


The prototype T-Line Safety System has the following technical capabilities:

  • Recommended length of lanyard = 40cm
  • Maximum working width = 10m
  • Maximum user mass = 120kg
  • Will limit Fall Arrest forces applied to user to less than 6kN
  • Maximum Fall Distance of approximately 1m
  • Device weight = 15kg
  • Uses safety-line with a breaking strength of 2.2 tonnes 
    (5.6 mm 7x7 strand stainless steel)

Summing up  ...

The ‘T-Line Safety System’ is a fall protection device that offers more safety and freedom of movement when working at heights. The system will arrest falls while minimising the pendulum effect. It also has an inbuilt retrieval device to rescue workers from a fall. Due to the unique design, it can be fitted around over-head obstructions such as cranes and pipes, while workers move freely below.



For more information about T-Line Safety System, contact:


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