What is the life expectancy of fall protection equipment?
Since it often gets used every day, fall protection like harnesses, lanyards, and connecting devices will gradually wear even if they are not involved in a fall. It's important, then, to have a good sense of your fall protection equipment's life expectancy, and to remove the equipment from service when it gets too old or worn to ensure the user's safety.
Manufacturers will provide an estimated, guaranteed lifetime for their fall protection equipment. Make careful note of this date but be aware that these are simply estimates based on the normal wear and tear of the equipment under typical conditions. Since the equipment could fray or wear sooner than expected, it's important to inspect it regularly (learn How to Inspect Your Fall Harness When Working Alone).
Fall protection equipment should be checked daily to ensure its integrity. If any fraying is discovered, remove the equipment from service and replace it immediately. Lanyards and harnesses should be inspected carefully by the user before each use, as well as undergo regular inspections by a qualified technical inspector.
Diligent inspections and maintenance can, moreover, extend the life of your fall protection gear and, as a result, cut down on equipment costs while keeping workers safer.
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