Whether you are a seasoned contractor working at heights or frequently use fall protection equipment, regular inspection of these harnesses is crucial. Cross-checking their suitability and operability safety is of significant importance. Many cases are reported daily of workers falling tragically because of defective safety equipment. That's the reason why regular inspection of safety harness equipment is not only an OSHA requirement but also the first step to guaranteeing your safety while working at heights.
So, where do you begin your height safety equipment inspection? Well, this post breaks down the process into five steps highlighting five components you should pay attention to. Read on to learn more.
You might be surprised that labels make it to this list, but the truth is that they contain a lot of information regarding the safety harness. That might include aspects such as warning signs, weight capacity and other critical details concerning standards. Furthermore, they hold the equipment's serial and model numbers, which allows for manufacturer tracking. During the inspection, ensure these label tags are clearly indicated and attached firmly to your height safety equipment.
The Load Indicators
These components are usually sewn on the webbing found on the equipment's back. During a fall, these indicators rip apart, causing their threads to unravel. Therefore, when the equipment's folds begin experiencing wear or tear, consider replacing the entire unit with a new one.
The equipment's webbing will be the likely place to identify faults. It is susceptible to abrasive force, rips and frays, just like most fabrics. During the inspection, conduct a thorough examination to spot any imperfections, including extreme wear or missing parts. Besides, find out whether there are any duct tape modifications. If you identify any of these flaws, it's better to put the harness to retirement.
The equipment's webbing might also suffer flaws caused by severe chemicals or heat exposure. Look for signs, such as burned, scorched, or melted parts. Any of these that are present means the component is unsafe for use. Filthy and grimy-looking webbing might hide potential flaws on the equipment and damage it over time.
The harness usually comes with buckles, and it might be detrimental to wear the equipment with bent metallic parts. When you notice dents on the D-rings, chest, or leg buckles, that's a clear indication that the equipment might have suffered a fall before. You can choose to replace the defective hardware or retire the whole unit.
Areas that have been stitched together are crucial in bearing a wearer's body weight. Therefore, you want to inspect the whole unit to ensure all stitches are intact to avert being torn apart. If there are any broken threads, that might symbolise a defective harness.
There you have it! These are the five areas that will guide your inspection process when you want to guarantee the proper safety of your harness.