When working at height, there’s nothing more important than having proper fall protection equipment. There’s a chance that it could save your life at some point.
However, fall protection equipment can deteriorate over time.
Damage to fall protection equipment can occur due to various factors, from simple wear and tear to improper storage or overexposure to the elements. Putting trust in damaged fall protection equipment can lead to injuries and fatalities on the job site.
The solution? Regular equipment inspections.
How Often Should Fall Protection Equipment Be Inspected?
The bottom line is that all fall protection equipment needs to be personally inspected before every use. This isn’t a suggestion, either. Inspection before each use is a requirement as per OSHA regulation 1926.502. Supervisors should keep a written record of these inspections and immediately remove defective fall protection equipment from service.
Different defects will show up in different pieces of fall protection equipment. For example, in a fall protection harness, you’ll want to look out for damaged stitching, belt ends, buckles, and d-rings. However, a self-retracting lifeline may require additional attention since many of the crucial components are hidden from immediate view. Look for damages to springs, pressure plates, brake pawls, and any other components located inside the housing.
Who Can Inspect Fall Protection Equipment?
As fall protection equipment requires an inspection before each use, any worker is capable of performing the inspection.
However, OSHA regulations state that any competent individual can perform the inspection. Supervisors should be training employees on what to look out for depending on the equipment being inspected, who to report to if there are damages, and how to dispose of damaged equipment to ensure no one else uses it.
A proper safety training program can help get everyone on the same page and comfortable performing these inspections themselves.
Where to Go When You Need Fall Protection Equipment
So a few of your workers inspected their fall protection harness and noticed some defects. Now what? The harnesses need to be removed from service to ensure no one uses them and ends up injuring themselves.
Tanner has a ton of different fall protection equipment available, including:
- Self-Retracting Lifelines
- Tool Drop Prevention Products (Attachment Points, Connectors, Anchorages)
- Lanyard-Ready Tools (Power Tools and Hand Tools)
Head over to the Tanner website to grab all of your fall protection equipment needs in one convenient place.
Inspecting Fall Protection Equipment Isn’t a Suggestion—It’s Mandatory
Every worker on the job site must understand that fall protection equipment must be inspected before each use. Failure to do so can result in injuries and possibly fatalities.
Inspections aren’t something to brush off, either. OSHA can issue serious penalties for neglecting fall protection equipment inspections should an incident occur.
Keep workers up to date with training on fall protection equipment inspections, and you’ll be able to run a safe, penalty-free job site.
A Proper Safety Guide Can Help
Building a safety plan for working at height helps get everyone on the same page and follow the same protocols. Luckily, Tanner has created a template to help you do just that.
Download our Working at Height Safety Program sample guide and use it to create your own!