I was recently asked the question:
What is the difference between a 3 point and 5 point safety breakaway lanyard?
Aside from the obvious difference of one having 3 breakaway points and the other 5, is one better than the other?
The answer, one is not better than the other. It all comes down to the environment you work in and your employers risk assessment. In the UK this falls under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
As part of this legislation your employer will be required to assess the risk of lanyard use in the work environment and identify ways of reducing any risk to the employees.
Possible examples of an assessed risk:
If you work in a highly volatile adult environment such as: Forensic nursing, justice services, law enforcement or prison services your employer is likely to have assessed the environment (including the people within it) as high risk. This could include high risk of aggression from individuals. In this situation it is likely that the employer will require you to wear a 5 point breakaway lanyard (or no lanyard at all) due to the risk of someone using it as a strangulation weapon against the employee.
Whereas if you work in a primary school / nursery with children who have challenging behaviour the risk is less of them being able to reach over your shoulder from behind, grab your lanyard and having the strength to strangle you with your lanyard. They could however grab the lanyard and rip it from your neck. In this situation a 3 point might be more appropriate.
If you are purchasing a lanyard for yourself for work, always consult your employers policies, procedures and risk assessments before making a purchase to ensure you are adhering to your work place Health and Safety / risk assessments.
After all these are in place to ensure your safety and wellbeing.
Below I have put together a video which hopefully demonstrates the difference between the 3 point and 5 point safety breakaway lanyards.
In the video I have come up from behind, grabbed the lanyard as if I want to strangle the individual and pulled it towards me.