Determining fall distance and planning your equipment accordingly is paramount to actually protecting yourself in a fall scenario. Most people just go with the lanyard and don't even think about the fall height but the difference of a few feet could be broken ankles, legs or your life. In the videos below you'll see the difference between a compact web SRD, and a 6' shock absorbing lanyard.
I have several other articles on this site about calculating fall distance and how to properly plan for a fall as well as the ABC's of fall protection. If you have any questions please read those, watch the videos and be sure to reach out to Lindsey Supply if you have any questions about fall protection or jobsite safety.
Both of the below videos were recorded in slo-mo because it's wicked cool, and it will show you how the forces are absorbed. The weight being used is a little more than 300 lb and falling from about 14' high.
The first video is the 6' shock absorbing lanyard. You'll notice that once the fall is over the weight is about mid level of the fall trailer putting it about 5' off the ground. That means if you are taller than 5' you would have hit the ground possibly breaking your ankles (maybe as bad as Barry Sanders could have), or your legs.
The second video does the same demonstration but instead of the lanyard, we are using a 6' web retractable (self retracting device). This stops the weight much sooner in the fall as it is designed to do and can be a much better solution when used in the right scenario. Please be mindful of what equipment you're using and if unsure, call Lindsey Supply.