Did you know that OSHA requires fall protection equipment to be inspected prior to use and on a regular basis?
Competent inspection is the backbone of fall safety. Even the strongest materials and best-designed systems are not dependable if they aren’t properly installed and functioning at their full capacity.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) further compels employers to perform competent person inspection by someone other than the user on at least an annual basis and sometimes more frequently based on conditions and usage. This can be a lot of extra work for anyone led to believe that simply installing a fall protection system was all there is to it.
In fact, inspection requirements can get quite complicated. Individual manufacturers also stipulate their own specified inspection intervals, and these can vary widely between individual organizations. Keeping up with all of these necessary inspections can quickly become overwhelming.
What You Can Do to Alleviate the Burden of Fall Protection Inspection
Knowing that your employees’ safety depends on meeting OSHA and ANSI standards, you need to implement a policy that ensures inspection requirements are met. If you attempt to meet these requirements as you are made aware of them in an ad hoc manner, you will eventually lose track and fall out of compliance – organization is key.
The following four points will help you ensure inspection compliance in the long run.
- Invest in Employee Training. You must have at least one employee, preferably with managerial experience, designed as your organization’s “competent person” in fall safety-related matters. Train this individual or team of individuals to identify and replace equipment that does not pass inspection. Include regular refresher training to ensure that you stay ahead of any changes in OSHA guidelines, criteria, and requirements.
- Track Your Equipment. Implement a system that tracks the status of your fall protection equipment. Some of the items of information you should keep documented include the type of equipment used, its serial number, date of manufacture and the date of its last inspection. We use a sophisticated system consisting of a hand-held RFID scanner and tags attached to all the fall protection equipment we use. By wirelessly connecting scanned items to our database, we are able to immediately ascertain the condition of our equipment without giving our team extra paperwork to do.
- Outsource Inspections to Industry Experts. One successful strategy is to outsource fall safety equipment inspection to an authorized third party. Employees who are used to working with the same fall protection equipment every day can miss important safety details simply due to routine. Entrusting a third-party inspector with the task provides an extra layer of safety the ensures damage is not overlooked.
- Care for Equipment. Treat your equipment with care in order to ensure durability over long periods of time. Harnesses and lanyards kept loose in the bed of a pickup truck will not last as long as ones kept organized in a dedicated locker. Eventually, you may find yourself destroying piles of equipment that could have lasted several more years if employees treated them with greater care. Considering the financial impact of equipment replacement and repair delays, it makes sense to implement an equipment storage policy that ensures maximum lifetime benefit from each item and component you use.
When to Hire Fall Protection Equipment Inspection and Repair Specialists
If you are currently using equipment that meets or exceeds OSHA and ANSI standards, you are in good shape – for now. However, equipment cannot last forever, and eventually you will find yourself in need of replacement parts or on-site repairs. We offer fall protection equipment inspection all over the U.S. to our clients. Simply contact us and we will send a team with a full complement of components, parts, and tools for on-site inspection and repair at your convenience, ensuring compliance for your project.