Inspection of Fall Protection Equipment

It is vital to inspect your Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS), Personal Fall Restraint System (PFRS), or Positioning Device System (PDS) in order to ensure that it is not defective.

All components of Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS), Personal Fall Restraint Systems (PFRS) and Positioning Device Systems (PDS) shall be inspected prior to each use according to manufacturer’s specifications for mildew, wear, damage, and other deterioration.  Defective components shall be removed from service if their function or strength has been adversely affected.

Safety nets shall be inspected at least once a week according to manufacturer’s specifications for wear, damage, and other deterioration. Safety nets shall also be inspected after any occurrence which could affect the integrity of the safety net system.  Defective components shall be removed from service. Defective nets shall not be used.

PFAS, PFRS, PDS, and their components shall be used only for employee protection and not to hoist materials.

The following is a summary of what to look for when inspecting your gear:

Anchorages

  • Ensure that the proper number and correct size of nails or screws are used.
  • Installation: follow manufacturer’s specifications
  • Make sure that the ring swing freely
  • Inspect for any unusual shape or wear

Lanyards and Rope Grabs

  • No cuts or tears in the fabric or stitching
  • Snap hooks spring back when released
  • No deformation or gouges in fittings
  • Shock pack intact and no evidence of deployment
  • Ensure that there is no damage to the wear, or other characteristics that will affect the product’s performance

Harness

  • No cuts or tears in the fabric or stitching
  • No abrasion, fraying, stretching, mold,  or chemical damage to fabric or stitching
  • Back “D” ring should be between the shoulder blades

If you see red, take the equipment out of service.  Red tags are seen in shock packs and in the back of harnesses.


Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • What would you look for a Self-Retracting Lifeline?
  • How often must you inspect your fall protection equipment?