1. How to inspect fall protection equipment?
It is important to have employees trained in how to correctly inspect fall protection equipment. This is not just a visual check and but it includes checking the webbing by bending it a U and checking for any damaged areas of the web. The D-rings need to be checked for free movement, and back pads need to be checked for any damage, cracks or rough or sharp edges. All buckles should be checked for signs of damage, and all grommets should be secure and undamaged. Straps and all components should be checked for signs of breaks, stretched material and dirt in mechanisms.
2. How often do harnesses need to be inspected?
Every worker should check his or her safety harness before each use. This small, 5-minute task can be a life-saving block of time on the job. Additionally, OSHA requires an inspection by a Competent Person with some inspections as frequently as every 6 months and some with double that time or longer time between inspections.
3. Do fall protection harnesses expire?
In the past, manufacturers of fall protection harnesses provided an expiry date on the harness, which indicated when it needed to be replaced. Today, the manufacturer will provide information on when the harness inspections to ensure the entire system is in excellent operating condition.
4. What is the height that requires a form of fall protection or fall prevention?
OSHA regulations state that fall protection must be provided if the worker is at an elevation of four feet for workplaces, five feet in shipbuilding or shipyards, six feet in the construction industry and eight feet for longshoremen.
5. How long is a fall protection harness good for?
A new fall harness will typically have recommended inspection dates set by the manufacturer. The life cycle of the harness will depend on wear and tear, exposure to chemicals, water or corrosive materials, use applications for the harness as well as if the harness has been used to prevent a fall. In the event of a fall, all energy-absorbing types of lanyards or lifelines and full body harnesses should be replaced after a fall and not used again.
6. How long can you keep a safety harness?
With regular maintenance and correct storage and care of the harness, as well as replacement of any worn components indicated as replaceable by the manufacturer, a safety harness can be used for up to five years. However, if the wearer is involved in the fall, the harness should be completely replaced.