Care, Maintenance & Inspection
A well conceived fall protection plan must include proper care and maintenance of all personal protective equipment along with the associated items necessary for a complete system. Training sessions related to care and maintenance should be held at regular intervals depending on the nature of the work. Frequent training sessions are more appropriate for an employer with a transient work force than for an employer with a mature stable work force.
ANSI and OSHA standards require that training be performed by a competent person. The user is responsible for ensuring that he/she knows how to properly inspect, use, store and maintain the equipment.
Personal protection equipment (harnesses, lanyards, etc.) along with connectors and other related items should be stored in a clean, dry environment free from direct sunlight, dust, excessive heat and harmful chemicals.
Personal protection equipment should be cleaned periodically using a mild detergent and water. Wash with a soft, non-abrasive brush or sponge and allow to air dry after removing the excess water with a dry cloth.
DO NOT put personal protection equipment in a clothes dryer or use a blow dryer. Excessive heat may melt the webbing and alter the strength.
DO NOT use chemicals to clean heavily soiled gear. Chemicals may destroy the webbing.
Frequency of Inspection
Personal fall arrest systems should be inspected by the user before each use. In addition, the user should check before each use to be sure a formal inspection has been performed within the last six months.
Competent Person Inspection
Personal fall arrest systems must be inspected by a competent person at intervals of no more than six months.
Procedure for Inspection
Harnesses, lanyards and synthetic lifelines manufactured from webbing and/or rope (products used in typical fall arrest system).
1.Inspect all webbing (straps) and stitching for cuts, fraying, pulled or broken threads, abrasion, excessive wear, altered or missing straps, burn, heat and chemical exposures.
2.Inspect all rope for cuts, fraying, pulled or broken strands, abrasion, excessive wear, burns, heat and chemical exposure.
3.Inspect all metallic parts (ie. D-rings, snap hooks, buckles, adjusters and grommets) for deformation, fractures, cracks, corrosion, deep pitting, sharp edges, cuts, deep nicks, missing or loose parts, improper function, evidence of burns, excessive heat and chemical exposure.
When inspection in accordance with stated inspection procedures reveals signs of inadequate maintenance, the harness must be immediately removed from service. Excessive wear and aging are generally not repairable. If detected, immediately remove harness from service. For final disposition, submit the harness to a competent person who is authorized to perform inspections. Contact FrenchCreek Production for further information if necessary.
Competent Person Inspection
The personal protective equipment must be inspected by a competent person other than the user at intervals of no more than six months (The qualifications of a competent person are established by OSHA). If the harness is exposed to sever working conditions, more frequent formal inspections may be required. The frequency of inspection by a competent person should be established by the user's organization based on such factors as the nature and severity of the workplace conditions and exposure time of the equipment. The competent person should perform the inspection following the procedures outlined above. Results should be recorded in the formal inspection log. In addition, the user should check before each use to be sure a formal inspection has been performed within the last six months.
Control of Equipment
The user's organization should establish and enforce a policy and procedure whereby any personal fall arrest system (or parts thereof) are found to be defective, damaged, impact loaded or in need of maintenance be immediately removed from service. Only the manufacturer should make repairs to defective or damaged equipment.