Lanyards are ropes or cords that are usually worn around the neck, shoulder, or wrist. They are used to carry objects. Aside from the convenience of the item hanging on you, they also ensure that the item is more visible, especially when not hanging around a body part. There is also a steel variation that is used for aircrafts. Those cords may also refer to the piece of rigging used in securing things on a boat. A more heavy-duty kind of lanyard is used when dealing with machinery and vehicles.
References to lanyards date all the way back to the 15th century in France where “Laniere” denoted a strap or thong apparatus. Also, in the French military, there were lanyards that were used to attach a sword, whistle, or pistol. A pistol lanyard will stay attached to the pistol no matter what and was useful in ensuring that it wouldn’t get lost. Lanyards of different colors were also seen on military uniforms’ shoulders. Its purpose was to indicate the wearer’s qualification.
The common lanyard materials are nylon, satin, silk, polyethylene terephthalate, and polyester. The material used depends on the purpose of the lanyard; either it would be used as an accessory, an identification holder, safety strap, for linemen, for uniforms, and others.
The most common use of a lanyard are as follows:
One of the popular uses for a lanyard is for holding items such as MP3 players, cameras, cell phones, and cameras. This prevents dropping or loss of the item. It also makes it convenient because it provides fast access to the items when hanging on a body part. Some models of cameras, MP3 players, cameras, and phones have a small hole on one corner designed for a lanyard or strap. Some lanyards have a thread at its end that can be knotted onto the hole. Some employs the use of a clip for faster attaching and detaching of the item.
In recent times, consoles have also made use of lanyard. For example, Nintendo’s Wii remote comes with has a lanyard to make sure it stays on the player’s arm, since use of the Wii remote often entails rough and vigorous movement.
Probably the most common use of a lanyard is for IDs. Employees, students, security personnel, among others, can be seen with their IDs hanging from a lanyard. In events, official personnel have their passes on a lanyard to indicate that they are part of the event. It also gives them access to backstage areas and such. The material used for these are often braided fabric. A customized lanyard can be made so that it has the name or logo of the company, school, event, or convention.
A lanyard can also be seen fastened to a dead man’s switch on dangerous machinery. This can be on a slicing machine, industrial cutting machines, and on vehicles such as trains. On treadmills, an accidental fall will pull the lanyard which, in turn, will pull the switch to cease the function of the machine.
Linemen make use of a lanyard to impede any fall. This type of lanyard makes use of a heavy duty nylon strap fastened to a ring or carabineer. Mountain climbers also utilize a lanyard to help them in their ascent. The lanyard may be adjustable or fixed.
A lanyard can still be seen on uniforms, and an example would be the Orange Lanyard used in the Military William Order.
As can be seen, the use of a lanyard has changed over time, and people have seen plenty ways to utilize it. It can most often be seen at schools, offices, events, but is not limited to those places. It is truly a versatile item.