Slips, Trips & Falls – Fall Arrest
Would you gamble with your life? A lot of people do just that when they fail to inspect their personal fall arrest equipment daily. They gamble that the equipment will save their life if they fall. Wearing fall arrest equipment without inspecting it, provides a false sense of security.
This equipment is subject to tremendous loads during a fall, so unless each component is thoroughly inspected and properly used, it may not save your life. Always follow manufacturers’ recommendations when inspecting your equipment. Here are several things to look for.
Belts & Body Harnesses:
- Thoroughly inspect all nylon webbing on belt/body harnesses for frayed edges, broken fibers, burn marks, deterioration or other visible signs of damage. Do the same if the belt or body harness is constructed of other materials. Stitching should be intact and not torn or loose. The belt or harness should be somewhat “soft” and flexible and not stiff from dirt or contaminants
- Check to see that buckles and “D” rings are not distorted or damaged. Look closely at all components for stress cracks, deformity, gouging, corrosion and sharp edges. Inspect connection points where the buckle or “D” ring is attached to the belt or body harness. Insure that no stitching is pulled and that the buckle or “D” ring is securely attached
- Inspect all rivets and grommets to be certain they are not deformed, and are securely fastened to the belt or body harness and cannot be pulled loose.
- If you find any of these conditions during the inspection, do not use the equipment
- Completely check the entire length of the lanyard. Looking for cuts, fraying, deterioration, knots, kinks, burns or visible signs of damage. Stitching should be intact and not torn or loose
- If using a “shock absorber” type of lanyard, look for the “warning tag” which indicates that the lanyard has been exposed to a fall.
- Snap hooks and eyes should not be distorted or bent. Inspect them for cracks, sharp edges, gouges or corrosion. Check to be sure the locking mechanism is operating properly