MSA Safety

Fall Protection for Personnel Working on the Wings and Fuselage of Aircraft

MSA’s Latchways systems offer unparalleled fall protection for personnel working on the wings and fuselage of aircraft undergoing maintenance, repair or while being constructed.

MSA’s innovative Latchways WinGrip® vacuum anchor freestanding solution can be deployed on any size of aircraft whether parked inside or out. Conversely, a Latchways overhead system provides a permanent resource for inside a hanger or construction facility.

Company Profile

  • WinGrip Single-User System

    The WinGrip Single-User system is the original part of the MSA range of WinGrip vaccum anchor fall protection system. This was developed in 1999, and provides a single fall protection anchor point for one worker on wings, fuselage or stabilisers. The system offers comfortable hands-free movement for one operative.

    It is quickly and easily installed, is highly portable and is particularly suited to line maintenance and other short-term, temporary work. The anchor is positioned and vacuum locked in place. The worker wears a full body harness with safety lanyard and work positioning rope, and is connected to the vacuum anchor. The adjustable work positioning rope provides a safe working radius of 3 metres. A second vacuum anchor can be added to triangulate the system and fix the worker’s position.

  • WinGrip Multiple-User Lifeline System

    The WinGrip Multiple-user Lifeline System is for several workers, and is part of the range of WinGrip vacuum anchor fall protection range. This system allows up to 4 users to work together at any one time offering hands-free movement along the whole cable length.

    The system comprises two end-anchor vacuum pads with cables between, intermediate anchors can be used as necessary dependent upon the cable length. Each anchor is positioned and then vacuum locked in place, with stainless steel safety cables connected and tensioned at one end.

    Workers wearing full body harnesses and positioning ropes are linked to the cable using the unique Latchways shuttle. The shuttle glides over the intermediate anchors facilitating free movement along the whole length of the cable.

  • WinGrip (AIO) All-in-One

    The WinGrip AIO (All in One) is the latest addition to the range of WinGrip vacuum anchor fall protection systems. The AIO is an individual pad and is a fully portable unit. Easy to use and quick to install, it allows safe access to ‘walking’ areas of wings or structural sections of the fuselage.

    A ‘clip-on’ rechargeable gas bottle powers this new addition to the WinGrip range. Once the pad has been vacuum locked in place, the worker can attach to the system using a full body harness and work positioning rope.

    The rechargeable gas bottle can be filled from a nitrogen cart found in any hanger, and allows the worker six hours of operating time before needing to be refilled.

  • WinGrip Barrier System

    The WinGrip Barrier System is part of the range of WinGrip vacuum anchor fall protection systems, offering multi personnel protection. Developed in 2007 the WinGrip Barrier System provided a solution to working at height on aircraft during manufacture and maintenance when multiple workers were required in a specific area.

    Initially designed for Boeing and suitable for C and D checks, the system consists of a series of upright stanchions and horizontal rails. The stanchion is connected at the base to a WinGrip vacuum pad and is fully adjustable ensuring a perfect installation on flat or curved surfaces. The horizontal rails are adjustable in length and angle allowing any shape of system to be installed. The layout can be changed easily at any time and the system can be supplied to enclose any size area from one square metre to the entire upper surface of an aircraft.

    The system can be installed by one worker in complete safety and once set up will provide an enclosed safe working environment for an unlimited number of workers for any length of time. Workers do not need to use harnesses or lanyards, and they require only basic training to work within the system. The WinGrip Barrier System provides the ultimate in work at height safety by eliminating all fall risks.

  • Wingrip Testing

    MSA’s WinGrip product testing is carried out at their UK Fall Protection Centre of Excellence to the requirements laid down, overseen and approved/verified by the relevant independent standards agencies. MSA’s Latchways systems are tested above and beyond the requirements to gain a full understanding of how the system performs in extreme circumstances.

    MSA’s Latchways WinGrip is a vacuum anchor fall protection system for use in aviation maintenance and manufacturing of aircraft. The system allows safe access to all areas of any aircraft and consists of a single pad, or series of pads, that provide anchor points using a vacuum. With the series of pads two lengths of protected cable attach the user, via their safety harness and lanyard, to the system. The system is quick and easy to set up and is used predominantly for restraint, although the system is fall arrest capable.

    MSA’s Latchways WinGrip system has been subjected to a series of exacting tests to verify its performance and to show that it more than meets the demands put upon it.

    The tests were carried out to show

    • The fall arrest capability of the system
    • The ground clearance requirements
    • The applied loads acting on the system

    Using a single-pad and a four-pad system the tests were carried out externally with an anthropometric drop test dummy and other test masses.

    The tests confirmed that WinGrip successfully arrested the test mass(es) and controlled the resultant loads to acceptable limits.

    • In both wet and dry conditions
    • For single mass and sequential masses (two people falling)
    • From different fall points on the system
    • In correctly fitted scenarios and in conditions of misuse
    • Minimum arrest distance recorded 0.6 m (1.97ft)
  • MSA Latchways Overhead Systems

    MSA’s Latchways overhead systems provide a dependable safety at height solution for personnel working on an aircraft’s wings and fuselage within a hanger. Overhead systems combine MSA’s unique knowledge of fall arrest load control with innovative Constant Force® technology in a solution that is flexible to use, strong, durable and easy to install. Workers attached to the Latchways system have maximum accessibility and hands-free mobility to safely go about their duties.

    With an MSA Latchways overhead system the Constant Force technology is housed in an in-line energy absorber. In the event of a fall by a worker connected to the system, the attachment device is captive on the cable arrest the fall while the Constant Force energy absorber controls the load on the system.

    • Load is limited to a maximum of 18 kN in the event of a fall.
    • The load remains limited to a maximum of 18 kN whether one, two or three workers fall.
    • The Constant Force energy absorber will only deploy when a load of 18 kN is experienced.
    • The Constant Force energy absorber has a safety factor of 2: working deployment of 18 kN, design deployment of 36 kN.
    • MSA’s system cable is manufactured from 1 x 19 stainless steel. It does not stretch and has a breaking strain of over 45 kN.
    • The system cable can be tensioned to 5 kN to eliminate sag and any whiplash effect if a worker falls.
    • The use of Constant Force technology allows for single spans of up to 60 m. Thereby reducing the number of costly ‘T’ bars and anchoring points within the system.
    • Constant Force systems are quicker, easier and less costly to install than ‘I’ beam systems.
    • MSA’s Latchways systems can easily accommodate changes of direction.
    • System tested to BS EN 795.
    • The overhead device has been certified by SATRA and conforms to BS EN 362:1992.


Latchways, an MSA Brand
Hopton Park, Devizes,
United Kingdom
SN10 2JP,
  • +44 (0) 1380 732700