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What Is the Life Expectancy of Fall Protection Equipment?

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Q:What is the life expectancy of fall protection equipment?

Equipment like harnesses, lines, and lanyards are used every day. Thus, there will be wear on it whether or not a fall occurs in its entire lifetime. There is a manufacturer’s estimated, guaranteed lifetime for fall protection equipment like harnesses, lines, and connecting devices. This is an estimate given normal wear and tear. However, items may fray or wear sooner than their manufacturer’s estimated lifetime expectancy.

Equipment should be checked for wear daily. When fraying occurs, fall protection equipment should be replaced immediately. On the other hand, diligent adherence to inspection and maintenance can actually extend the life expectancy of fall protection equipment like harnesses, lines, and connecting devices. Lanyards and harnesses should be inspected carefully by the user before each use and by a qualified person designated with this responsibility regularly. It is the responsibility of the employer and the user of fall protection equipment to decide when a harness or lanyard is no longer safe for use and replacement should be made. The manufacturer’s life expectancy on fall protection equipment is merely a guideline based on average use.

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