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A climbing harness is an item of climbing equipment for rock-climbing, abseiling, or other activities requiring the use of ropes to provide access or safety such as industrial rope access, working at heights, etc. A harness secures a person to a rope or an anchor point.
In its simplest form, a harness can be made from a length of rope or a nylon webbing tied round the waist. More sophisticated harnesses exist in many patterns, designed to give greater comfort and security, and more options for carrying equipment. Hence these are used as part of working at height equipment.
A lanyard is a cord or strap worn around the neck, shoulder, or wrist to carry such items as keys or identification cards. In the military, lanyards were used to fire an artillery piece or arm the fuze mechanism on an air-dropped bomb by pulling out a cotter pin (thereby starting the arming delay) when it leaves the aircraft. Aboard a ship, it may refer to a piece of rigging used to secure or lower objects. Hence these are used as part of working at height equipment.
A carabiner or karabiner is a specialized type of shackle, a metal loop with a spring-loaded gate used to quickly and reversibly connect components, most notably in safety-critical systems. The word is a shortened form of Karabinerhaken (or also short Karabiner), a German phrase for a “spring hook” used by a carbine rifleman, or carabinier, to attach items to a belt or bandolier.
A belay device is a mechanical piece of climbing equipment used to control a rope during belaying. It is designed to improve belay safety for the climber by allowing the belayer to manage their duties with minimal physical effort. With the right belay device, a small, weak climber can easily arrest the fall of a much heavier partner. Belay devices act as a friction brake, so that when a climber falls with any slack in the rope, the fall is brought to a stop.
A rope is a group of yarns, plies, or strands that are twisted or braided together into a larger and stronger form. Ropes have tensile strength and so can be used for dragging and lifting, but are too flexible to provide compressive strength. As a result, they cannot be used for pushing or similar compressive applications. Rope is thicker and stronger than similarly constructed cord, line, string, and twine. Fiber rope is made from fiber, whereas wire rope is made from wire.
A pulley is a wheel on an axle or shaft that is designed to support movement and change of direction of a taut cable, supporting shell is referred to as a “block.”
A pulley may also be called a sheave or drum and may have a groove or grooves between two flanges around its circumference. The drive element of a pulley system can be a rope, cable, belt, or chain that runs over the pulley inside the groove or grooves.
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