It’s not only important to wear your fall protection but it is also just important to inspect your harness for cuts, burns, defects and broken/worn parts before use.

OSHA 1910 and 1926 state that personal fall arrest systems must be inspected before each use for “wear, damage and other deterioration, and defective components shall be removed from service.” Before a repaired system is returned to active service, a competent person must inspect the system. OSHA defines a competent person as "one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in their surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them." OSHA also states that a competent person must train users how to inspect and maintain fall protection systems properly.

ANSI states that systems must be inspected by the user “before each use and, additionally, by a competent person other than the user at intervals of no more than one year.” ANSI defines a competent person as an individual designated by the employer who possesses the proper training and knowledge to identify, evaluate, and address potential fall hazards successfully. If the competent person finds damage or defects to the system, he or she should arrange for additional training. This training assures users are able to inspect the system thoroughly and effectively. ANSI requires that two separate people inspect the equipment so that inspectors have less of a chance to overlook defective or damaged equipment. ANSI Z359 outlines what people should look for when inspecting fall protection equipment:

  • Absent or illegible markings
  • Absence of any elements affecting the equipment form, fit, or function
  • Evidence of defects in—or damage to—hardware elements.
  • Although following OSHA and ANSI standards is important, they were only designed to outline the minimum requirements. Providing the safest workplace possible requires companies to exceed minimum requirements.

    Here is a short video on harness inspection provided by Equipworld.