Fall Arrest Systems are our last line of defense against fall risk situations. When all other control measures have been exhausted, we rely of fall arrest as the means to prevent a fall from height. These types equipment are life saving devices and should be cared for in the same manner as any other PPE that has sentimental value to us. The difference between inadequate care and proper care is life!
- Hardware — Snaps: Inspect closely for hook and eye distortions, cracks, corrosion, or pitted surfaces. The keeper (latch) should seat into the nose without binding and should not be distorted or obstructed. The keeper spring should exert sufficient force to firmly close the keeper. Keeper locks must prevent the keeper from opening when the keeper closes. Thimbles: The thimble must be firmly seated in the eye of the splice, and the splice should have no loose or cut strands. The edges of the thimble must be free of sharp edges, distortion, or cracks.
- Steel Lanyard — While rotating the steel lanyard, watch for cuts, frayed areas, or unusual wearing patterns on the wire. Broken strands will separate from the body of the lanyard.
- Web Lanyard — While bending webbing over a pipe, observe each side of the webbed lanyard. This will reveal any cuts or breaks. Swelling, discoloration, cracks and charring are obvious signs of chemical or heat damage. Observe closely for any breaks in stitching.
- Rope Lanyard (vertical life line or rescue rope) — Rotation of the rope lanyard while inspecting from end-to-end for any fuzzy, worn, broken or cut fibers. Weakened areas from extreme loads will appear as a noticeable change in original diameter. The rope diameter should be uniform throughout, following a short break-in period.
- Shock Absorber Pack — The outer portion of the pack should be examined for burn holes and tears. Stitching on areas where the pack is sewn to D-rings.
- Shock-Absorbing Lanyard — Shock-absorbing lanyards should be examined as a web lanyard (described in Item 3 above). However, also look for the warning flag or signs of deployment. If the flag has been activated, remove this shock-absorbing lanyard from service.
Basic care of all safety equipment will prolong the durable life of the unit and will contribute toward the performance of its vital safety function. Proper storage and maintenance after use are as important as cleaning the equipment of dirt, corrosives, or contaminants. Storage areas should be clean, dry and free of exposure to fumes or corrosive elements.
Nylon or Polyester—Remove all surface dirt with a sponge dampened in plain water. Squeeze the sponge dry. Dip the sponge in a mild solution of water and commercial soap or detergent. Work up lather with a vigorous back and forth motion; then wipe with a clean cloth. Hang freely to dry, but away from excessive heat.
Drying—Equipment should dry thoroughly without close exposure to heat, steam, or long periods of sunlight.
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