Safety Harness Inspection Checklists
Never miss crucial checkpoints and have more time to focus on tasks.
What is a Safety Harness Inspection?
A safety harness inspection is a pre-use check of personal fall arrest system equipment to determine if it is in a safe condition or if it needs to be removed from service. Workers at heights such as building maintenance personnel, electrical engineers, and construction workers should assess the labeling, webbing, stitching, D-rings, lanyards, and snap hook-ends of the harness.
Why use a Safety Harness Inspection Checklist?
A safety harness inspection checklist is used before commencing daily tasks to ensure the integrity of safety harnesses and reduce the risk of falling. Occupational health and safety regulators around the world such as OSHA, HSE, and SafeWork require regular inspection and proper maintenance or storage of fall protection equipment.
This article features: 1) top 5 often-missed checkpoints during a safety harness inspection; 2) safety harness inspection checklist app to never miss safety harness inspection checkpoints; and 3) free safety harness inspection checklists you can download, customize, and use.
5 Often-missed Safety Harness Inspection Checkpoints
This year, a lead rigger died in a 60-feet fall while setting up a Coachella stage in California, and eyewitnesses claimed that the 49-year old man was not using a safety harness when he fell. Even experienced workers make the mistake of not only donning personal fall protection equipment, but also inspecting it before use. When inspecting a full-body safety harness, workers at heights should keep an eye out for the following often-missed checkpoints:
When a safety harness has been used to arrest a fall, it should be immediately removed from service. Impact indicators, or fall arrest load indicators, on a safety harness reveal that it has gotten enough force for it to be discarded. They are usually popped stitches on the backstrap, loose D-rings with an exposed alert color, or plastic rings designed to break.
As the strongest support area during periods of suspension, checking for any sub-pelvic strap damage is critical for fall protection. The sub-pelvic strap passes under the buttocks without passing through the crotch, and it is designed to transfer forces applied during fall arrest or post-fall suspension to the sub-pelvic part of the body.
One of the factors that influence the effectiveness of a full-body harness is its exposure to ultraviolet rays. Visually identifying UV-degradation can be difficult, but there may be flaking on the surface of the safety harness and discoloration, if dyed. Other signs of chemical damage such as burn marks and fibers with a glazed appearance also weaken webbing strength.
The amount of dirt generated by the work area determines how contaminated a safety harness can be, resulting in excessive internal or external abrasion. Grit, sand, or debris underneath the dorsal D-ring can cause serious problems workers at heights normally cannot see. Make sure to properly clean and store the safety harness, lanyard, and other parts of the personal fall arrest system to easily maintain equipment integrity.
This year, a 51-year old construction worker fell to his death after not securing his safety harness to the lifeline. Workers at heights should develop the habit of applying their training when inspecting and using their safety harness and lanyard. Remember to inspect your fall protection gear without gloves on to accurately detect more than 1-mm cuts and localized abrasion on the webbing.
Never Miss a Safety Harness Inspection Checkpoint
When working at heights, it is crucial to focus on the environment and your own task rather than unnecessary equipment such as clipboards. Donald Kempf, Owner of Sunshine Crane Repairs, previously carried a notepad and pen while he ran through several preventive maintenance checklists, scrawling notes and taking photos with his camera.
With iAuditor, Donald not only digitized his checklists, but he expanded it from a page to 14 comprehensive pages with photos. He says, “It saves a heap of time on site and then when I am at home, the task is already done; no more sitting at the computer writing out reports.”
Leverage on the features of iAuditor, the world’s most powerful inspection checklist app:
Digital Safety Harness Inspection Checklists
1. Safety Harness Equipment Inspection Checklist
A safety harness equipment inspection checklist is used by workers at heights to ensure that a safety harness is in good condition before use and reduce the risk of falling. Begin by capturing the identification and intended usage of the harness or lanyard you are inspecting. Next, carefully inspect each part of the harness and its connections (snap hooks, lanyard and tie-off adaptors/ anchorages). Make sure to check the label of each component to identify the type of harness, model, manufacturing details, limitations and warnings. Finally, complete the inspection by rating the overall condition of the harness and whether it can be used or should be removed from service.
2. Harness & Lanyard Inspection Checklist
A harness and lanyard inspection checklist aims to check the condition of safety harnesses and lanyards. First, capture the manufacturer details of the harness and lanyard being inspected, then take photos of all labels and tags. Perform visual and tactile equipment inspection and record any damage and defects found including cuts, fraying, excessive wear, D-ring damage etc. Make sure to take photo evidence of any defects found.
3. Fall Protection Site Safety Inspection Report Form
A fall protection site safety inspection report details safety measures before, during, and after work shifts when working at heights. Start with a description of the work, take appropriate photos, and list down names of personnel performing the task. Next, identify the safety measures in place including permits, proper training, safety routes, vicinities and equipment. Then, the safety officer should check the harness if it is properly connected and used. Afterwhich, identify the changes that need to be implemented and finally, summarize the inspection by providing recommendations of equipment to be replaced or removed from service. This checklist should be used in conjunction with other safety harness inspection checklists.