How To Inspect A Fall Protection Harness

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Construction Accidents

When you work in high spaces, your fall protection harness is the number one thing that keeps you safe from a fall – but how do you know if your harness is reliable?

Fall protection harnesses can suffer from significant wear and tear over time, and age and use can weaken them. That’s why you should learn to regularly inspect every harness you use so that you know how to identify potential issues and protect yourself from harm.

Familiarize yourself with the components

The better you understand the components of your fall protection harness, the easier it will be to spot a problem. Take the time to learn more about the webbing, stitching, hardware and overall structure of your harness so that you feel comfortable that you know what everything should look like when it’s in good working order. Make sure that the tag that identifies the model, manufacturer, instructions and warnings is in place.

Look at the fall indicator

Fall indicators are visual cues that are activated when a certain amount of force has been applied to the harness – equivalent to what the harness would experience if its wearer fell. Make sure that you identify the fall indicator on your harness and examine it before each use. When a harness has been in a fall, it needs to be removed from service immediately.

Examine the webbing

Grab the webbing of your harness with both hands and bend it so that you can easily see signs of wear, such as cuts or tears in the material, broken fibers, fraying, hard or shiny spots that indicate heat damage, uneven thickness in the material, missing straps or material that’s stretched out. All of these are signs that the harness must be retired.

Inspect the stitching

The stitching, too, needs to be examined both visually and through touch. Look for the same basic problems mentioned above with the stitching, and examine the stitches themselves to make sure none are loose, missing or pulled.

Scrutinize the hardware

Finally, make sure that the hardware is all in place, and look for signs of trouble like broken grommets, rust, corrosion, twists, bends, broken springs or signs of modification by another user. If you have any doubts, don’t use it.

Despite your best efforts, an injury in a fall is still always a possibility. If it happens to you or your loved one, it may be time to explore your rights and options under the law by seeking legal guidance.


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