Quality fall protection equipment is essential to keeping safe on an elevated jobsite. But, no matter how reliable your fall protection may have been in the past, the time always comes when you need to get certain components replaced. Otherwise, you could risk these items failing in situations where you need them the most. For this reason, knowing when to replace fall protection equipment and what to look out for should be a primary focus when beginning a job as a tower climber.
When There Are Signs of Defect
It’s required by OSHA that each piece of equipment is thoroughly inspected before every use. This is to give workers the time to notice that an item is damaged before they’re in a life-or-death situation. Even if a piece of fall protection equipment can be repaired, it’s never quite as strong as it was before the damage occurred. It’s for this reason that most tower-climbing professionals are better off replacing the item immediately rather than putting time and money into repairs.
When the Service Life Expires
It’s also required by law that all industrial and protection equipment items have an attached manufacturer’s label that includes a product life expectancy. This date is provided to give workers an idea of when a certain piece is too old to properly withstand the rigors of the job being performed. As such, if you have an item that’s past this date, even if it has no visible damage, it’s in your best interest to get a replacement.
When You Don’t Know the Manufacturing Date
You should also immediately replace fall protection equipment if you don’t know what the item’s manufacturing date is. As mentioned, equipment manufacturing companies are required by law to include a service life expiration date on their products. So if the item you’re inspecting simply doesn’t have one, you have no way of knowing whether it’s safe enough to use. Because of this, it’s vital that you make a note of the missing tag and use a different tool for the job ahead.
At Midwest Unlimited, we pride ourselves on our quality products and clear equipment care standards. Each of our harnesses is marked with legible manufacture and expiration dates, and our other tower climbing equipment comes with step-by-step inspection and maintenance instructions. In providing this information to our customers, we want there to be no question about when an item needs to be replaced. This way, every worker on a site is the safest they can be.