Don’t let employees fall to their death

by on April 14, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

A full-body harness is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment an employee can wear.

But you know how easy it is for employees to just grab an available harness and go – without checking that it’s in proper working order.

Don’t let employees set themselves up for a fall – train them to inspect their harness before each use, starting with these four steps.

1. Before donning the harness, employees should inspect it. They should look for:

  • Missing components – if they’re not sure all the parts of the harness are there, they can compare the harness to the manufacturer’s checklist of parts.
  • Damage to metal components, including any changes, cracks, sharp edges, distortion, corrosion or chemical damage.
  • Defects in, or damage to, any straps or ropes including any changes, fraying, kinking, knotting, damaged or pulled stitches, abrasion or excessive soil.

2. If a harness needs repair or maintenance, tag the equipment as unusable and remove it from service. Unusable equipment should be stored for repair or disposal where it will not be confused with working equipment.

3. Follow all manufacturer instructions about inspecting, caring for, and storing the harness.

4. Have full-body harnesses inspected by a “competent person” at least once a year. OSHA defines a competent person as someone “capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards … who has authorization to take prompt measures to eliminate them.”

Source: The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights.

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