Lanyards may seem like a modern invention, but they had, in fact, already been used as early as the 15th century. French military men used lengths of cord to keep their weapons and signaling devices accessible. Some sailors also used lanyards to carry weapons as well as tools, which is especially helpful when repairing or adjusting the sails.
Nowadays, lanyards can be found everywhere. From schools and offices to concerts and business conventions, lanyards are the go-to accessories for holding and displaying IDs and badges. In fact, lanyards have become so ubiquitous that wearing lanyards as an essential tool has become common practice in various industries. Here are some of them.
IDs are important in all schools not only for proper identification, but also for heightened safety and security. Those who don’t have a student or a faculty/staff ID could be issued a guest pass or badge with a slightly different lanyard, so that security personnel, and even the students and staff themselves, can identify these people. This is especially valuable in sprawling campuses where hundreds of people come and go on a daily basis. IDs and lanyards can also be used to emphasize the importance of self-discipline and following rules, especially to younger children.
Referees and other officials for sports matches use lanyards to keep their whistles on their person all the time. It wouldn’t do if they had to reach into their pockets every single time they need to make a call because of fouls or other violations of the rules. Referees can also use their whistles to call the attention of the players, coaches, or other staff. Attaching their whistles to lanyards can help referees to react more quickly so that the game is more organized. Moreover, like sports wristbands, lanyards have become a part of their uniforms, completing their iconic outfits.
Construction and Manufacturing
Lanyards also act as safety devices in construction, manufacturing, and other industries that involve the use of heavy and dangerous machinery and vehicles. The lanyards are connected to what is referred to in the industry as “kill switches.” The operator of the machine or vehicle will wear the lanyard on their wrists so that when he/she falls, the switch will be tripped and the machine or vehicle will stop.
Linemen and Utility Work
There are lanyards specifically manufactured for the use of linemen and other utility workers as a safety device to prevent falls. Usually, this kind of lanyard (often called a lineman lanyard) will have a section that is made out of a stronger, thicker material that’s attached to a carabiner or other a similar kind of metal shackle. This section is designed to tighten around the attachment point, and the entire lanyard can either be fixed or adjustable, depending on how high the lineman usually goes. Some rock climbers and mountaineers also use similar lanyards made from parachute cords.
Those who work in security often carry small tools like flashlights or utility knives. Lanyards are valuable in keeping these implements out of the way when not in use, but perfectly accessible when needed. Security personnel also have whistles and other devices that they can use to call for help. Moreover, they also often act as caretakers of keys and access cards, all of which can be easily organized using lanyards.
Strictly speaking, soldiers aren’t required to use lanyards to keep their guns and other weapons close. It all falls down to a matter of preference and convenience, and a lanyard is an affordable and reliable way to do this. Dress and ceremonial attire are another matter entirely. Lanyards are essential components of these uniforms, denoting rank and recognitions received by the wearer.
Lanyards are simple accessories, and this simplicity is the key to their longevity and ubiquity. They’re also very versatile, which allow them to be adapted to various uses. You probably won’t find an accessory that’s more universal than the lanyard.
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