"When In Doubt, Change It Out!"
Fall protection is an important component of any worker's safety equipment, particularly for those working at heights or in elevated environments.
Safety harnesses, safety lanyards, and safety lifelines are vital elements of fall protection gear that protect workers from potential accidents and injuries. However, just like any other tool, these items have a limited lifespan and must be replaced at the appropriate time to ensure continued safety and reliability.
In this blog post, we will explore the signs that indicate when it's time to replace your fall protection gear!
Safety harnesses are designed to secure the worker's body in the event of a fall. They play a crucial role in distributing impact forces throughout the body, reducing the risk of injury.
To determine when to replace a safety harness, consider the following factors:
a. Wear and Tear: Regularly inspect your harness for signs of wear and tear. Check for frayed or torn webbing, loose stitches, or damaged hardware. If you notice any of these issues, it's time to retire the harness.
b. Manufacturer's Recommendations: Follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer regarding the lifespan of the harness. Some manufacturers recommend replacing safety harnesses every five years, regardless of their appearance. This proactive approach ensures that you are always working with equipment that meets current safety standards.
c. Exposure to Harsh Environments: If your harness has been exposed to extreme weather conditions, chemicals, or other corrosive substances, its integrity may be compromised. Inspect the harness closely, and if there are any signs of damage, replace it immediately.
Safety lanyards are crucial components that connect the safety harness to the anchorage point. They are designed to absorb the energy generated during a fall, lessening the impact on the worker. Here's when you should consider replacing safety lanyards:
a. Fall Impact Indicator Deployment: Many modern lanyards are equipped with a fall impact indicator that visibly deploys when the lanyard has experienced a fall. Once this feature is activated, the lanyard should be taken out of service and replaced with a new one.
b. Excessive Stretching: Over time, lanyards may stretch due to regular use or exposure to weight. If the lanyard exceeds its maximum allowable elongation, it must be replaced, as it may not provide adequate protection in the event of a fall.
c. Visible Damage: Inspect the lanyard for any visible signs of damage, including cuts, tears, or abrasions. Even minor damage can significantly weaken the lanyard, making it unsafe for use.
Safety lifelines are used in situations where workers need to move along a horizontal or inclined path at height. Like other fall protection gear, safety lifelines have a limited lifespan. Look for these signs to know when it's time to replace them:
a. Corrosion or Rust: Lifelines exposed to outdoor elements or corrosive environments are susceptible to rust and corrosion. These compromised areas weaken the lifeline and compromise its safety. If you notice any signs of corrosion, replace the lifeline immediately.
b. Damaged Core: Safety lifelines typically consist of an inner core and an outer sheath. If the inner core is visible or damaged, it is no longer safe for use and must be replaced.
c. Irreversible Shock Load: If a safety lifeline has experienced a fall, it may have experienced an irreversible shock load. Even if there are no visible signs of damage, the lifeline's integrity may be compromised. It should be taken out of service and replaced.
Fall protection gear, including safety harnesses, safety lanyards, and safety lifelines, plays a vital role in safeguarding workers at height. Regular inspections and adherence to manufacturer guidelines are essential to ensure the continued effectiveness of these safety tools.
Replacing fall protection gear at the right time guarantees that workers are equipped with reliable and safe equipment, reducing the risk of accidents and promoting a culture of safety in the workplace.
Be sure to always prioritize safety and opt for replacement to keep yourself safe from injury. Remember, when in doubt, change it out!
Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on new products and much more!