Repair and maintenance is a common procedure you need to follow when it comes to tools, equipment or machinery. It is necessary even for a car or a boiler. Similarly, when fall protection equipment is in place, its annual inspection is mandatory as per OSHA Fall protection equipment inspection guidelines.

It is a legal requirement to make sure the system in place is safe to use. An authorized person knows how to inspect your fall protection effectively on a regular basis (not exceeding one year). The annual activity includes Fall Protection Harness Inspection, Lanyard and Connectors/Anchor Straps inspection. The annual fall protection inspection not only provides security to your workers but it also helps an organization save future liability claims, legal proceedings and can lead to longer equipment life.

How do you inspect fall protection?

The first step is the Fall Protection Harness Inspection. Harness inspection guidelines by OSHA should be followed strictly. Check for stitching and webbing for broken, burned, pulled or cut stitches. After visual analysis, bend the webbing in an inverted “U” shape to create surface tension and identify the problematic areas. It must have a legible tag of its specifications and model. Cleaning and storage is also a part of harness inspection. The next step is the inspection of Lanyards. Twist the rope a little to look out for any broken strands or hockling (a lanyard condition that may occur due to rough use or storage). Then, check for the metal parts including D-rings, D-ring back pads, connectors and anchorage for any sharp edges, cracks or distortion. The D-rings must spindle freely. Check for any broken stitches of Buckles or connectors. The self-retracting equipment should be checked for any damage as well. Remember that harness and lanyard can never be repaired. Any worn or damaged equipment should be discarded immediately, because it may lead to death or injury of your workers.


How often should a safety harness be inspected?

The safety harness should be inspected every six months. However, if the use is frequent, inspection should be done at least after three months. Do follow Harness inspection guidelines by OSHA.

How often should you inspect fall protection equipment?

Each fall protection equipment must be inspected frequently, especially before each use and certified yearly.

How to inspect your fall protection effectively?

Following OSHA Fall protection equipment inspection guidelines and choosing authorized and trained personnel for this purpose.

How many years is a fall protection harness good for?

For around five years but depends on the manufacturer and quality.

How do you clean a fall protection harness?

Use a detergent or dishwashing liquid to make a cleaning solution. Make sure the cleaners are free of chlorine, bleach, or abrasives. Clean each portion of the harness until thick lather forms with a damp sponge dipped in the cleaning solution.

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