When your employees work at heights on a daily basis, it is essential to have the proper fall protection equipment to ensure their safety. However, employers may often wonder how often you should be inspecting your equipment? Our blog covers the essentials for inspecting and maintaining your fall protection equipment to keep it in good working order. There’s a lot of information to cover, so let’s get started!
Fall Protection Equipment Inspection Guidelines
Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) regulations cover a lot of mandatory guidelines governing the care and maintenance of equipment. This includes the timeframe and frequency of equipment inspections.
All fall protection equipment must be officially inspected annually. This includes safety harnesses, as well as other PPE.
OH&S recommends that fall inspection equipment, and other PPE, be inspected before every use. Canadian workers need to ensure that all harnesses and other equipment are in good, working order every time they work at height or in dangerous locations.
As far as an official inspection, that only needs to occur once a year. According to the CSA, this inspection needs to be conducted by a qualified inspector.
What Inspectors Look For
In order to certify your fall harness and other safety equipment, you need to conduct a thorough inspection. The process starts out with a visual inspection by a qualified inspector.
They will look for any nicks, cuts, or tears in the fabric of your harness. They’ll also look for fraying or any stitching that looks like it’s beginning to come loose.
Certain things, like discolouration, may still allow you to pass inspection. The inspector will want to discover the cause of the defect and make sure that it doesn’t compromise the integrity of the harness.
Inspectors will also look at the tag on your harness. They’ll use that to verify the model, age, limitations, and warnings of your harness. If you don’t have a visible tag on your harness, this could set you up for failure of your inspection.
In regard to other PPE and fall equipment hardware, the inspector will look for a different set of criteria. They’ll want to make sure there’s no rust or corrosion. They’ll also make sure that all springs, bars, and other components are in working order and aren’t showing rust.
Requirements for Inspecting Fall Protection Equipment
When it comes to fall protection equipment, the CSA and OH&S regulations are instrumental in determining when it is required by workers. They also set the standards for how strong and safe it must be.
According to OH&S safety code, fall protection equipment needs to be used when a worker is working from a vehicle or structure 3 meters above the ground. Those requirements change if the surface below where the worker is working is deemed “dangerous”.
A dangerous surface is any flat, hard surface that has a higher likelihood of injuring a worker if they were to fall on it. In those cases, where a worker is working above a dangerous surface, fall protection equipment must be used at heights under 3 m, as well.
These requirements are especially important for lone workers. With no one around to help them, they need to take every precaution to ensure they finish their job safely.
Providing Your Fall Protection Equipment
We know what it’s like for general industry and construction workers. You’re out there every day in the elements, relying on fall protection equipment, lone worker solutions, and gas detection solutions to help you get the job done.
Electrogas Monitors Ltd. has a large selection of quality fall protection equipment available throughout Western Canada. Contact us today at our offices in Calgary, Sherwood Park (serving Edmonton) and Red Deer to learn more and find the right equipment for the safety of your employees