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How to Inspect Fall Protection PPE: Body Harnesses, Lanyards, and SRL’s

Feb 22, 2016 9:00:19 AM

In previous Tech Talk articles, we have stressed the importance of inspecting your fall arrest system before each use, as well as the need for annual system re-certification.  Although the fall protection system is critical to ensuring your safety while working at heights, the system is only as good as the body harness, lanyard, and SRL used to connect the worker to the system itself.  This is why we stress the importance of PPE inspection.

The video below offers some quick inspection tips to ensure your safety:


In addition to the points made in the video, here a few additional things to keep in mind:

There are discrepancies  between industry standard practice and OSHA regulations regarding PPE that has been subjected to impact loading.  It is industry standard-practice to remove from use and destroy all harnesses and shock absorbing lanyards involved in a fall. OSHA simply requires inspection post-impact loading by a competent person.  To our way of thinking, once deployed, these devices have served their part and should be discarded. After impact loading, SRL’s should be inspected by a competent person before  being re-used.

If a fall has not occurred and the harness passes routine inspections, the PPE can be used for the period of time specified by the manufacturer.  The safe service-life  is typically indicated on the harness label.

In addition to normal wear and tear, other factors such as exposure to daylight, fumes, or moisture can contribute to the breakdown of the harness’ nylon fibers.  Workers should inspect their safety harnesses before each use, looking at the belts and rings, D-rings and D-ring metal wear pads, attachments, rivets, webbing, the tongue and friction buckles and their frames, bars and rollers.

As always, if you have specific questions about the safety of an individual piece of PPE, or the fall protection equipment you are tying off to, contact Diversified Fall Protection for immediate assistance.


Diversified Fall Protection designs, manufactures, and installs OSHA Compliant fall protection systems, including horizontal lifelines, rigid rail trolley beam fall arrest systems, vertical, fixed ladder lifelines, and rooftop guardrail.  To learn more about our turnkey approach to fall protection, please contact us for expert assistance with your safety needs.