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Course 805 - Fall Protection in Construction

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Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Inspection and Maintenance

inspector

Caring for Equipment

When you use ladders, scaffolds, aerial lifts, and fall-protection systems, you expect to get your job done safely. But do you pay attention to the condition of the equipment? Inspect the equipment frequently, keep it clean, store it properly, and it won't let you down.

Inspecting Systems

It is very important that you inspect the components of personal fall-arrest, restraint, or positioning-device systems for damage or excessive wear before and after each use. Replace any component that looks damaged. Don't use a personal fall-arrest system that has arrested a fall unless a competent person has determined that the system is safe to use.

Harness, Lifeline, and Anchorage

Inspect these components regularly. Review the table below that highlights what to look for.

Component What to Look for
Harness Webbing Frayed edges, broken fibers, pulled stitches, cuts, burns and chemical damage.
Harness D-rings Cracks, breaks, and rough or sharp edges; the D-ring should pivot easily
Harness Buckles
Excessive wear, frayed or cut fibers, broken stitching
Harness Grommets Loose, bent, or broken grommets, and punched holes not made by the manufacturer
Lifelines Wear or deterioration
Anchorages/Anchorage Connectors Look for abrasion and damaged threads or swages. Inspect stitching and loops on synthetic slings for cuts, cracks, or frayed and broken stitching. Look for excessive kinks or damaged steel fibers.
inspection2

Snaphooks

Look for cracks, excessive wear, and corrosion. The snaphooks should open easily and close firmly. Keeper locks must prevent the keeper from opening when it's closed.




Lanyards

Type of Lanyard
What to Look for
Wire Rope Lanyard Cuts, frayed strands, or excessive wear
Web Lanyard Cuts, discoloration, cracks, frayed or broken stitching
Rope Lanyard Frayed or cut fibers- The entire length of the rope should have the same diameter
Shock-Absorbing Lanyard Cuts, discoloration, cracks, frayed or broken stitching. Remove a lanyard from service if any part of the warning label is exposed.
Self-retracting lifelines need to be free of frays or tears.
(Click to enlarge)

Self-Retracting Lifelines

Look for cuts, frayed strands, or excessive wear in the line and damage to the housing. If the unit needs service, check the manufacturer's recommendations. Don't try to repair it yourself.

See more information about PFAS inspection and maintenance from Miller Fall Protection.

See more information about PFAS inspection and maintenance from Miller Fall Protection.

Guardrail Systems

Frequently inspect manila, plastic, or synthetic rope used for top rails or midrails to ensure that the rope meets the minimum strength and rail height requirements. [See 1926.502(b)]

Safety-Net Systems

Inspect safety nets for damage or deterioration weekly and after any event that could damage them. Remove defective components from service.

Ladders

ladder

General: When inspecting ladders, generally look for loose steps or rungs (considered loose if they can be moved at all with the hand), loose nails, screws, bolts, or other metal parts. Look for cracked, split, or broken uprights, braces, or rungs, slivers on uprights, rungs, or steps. Also look for damaged or worn non-slip bases.

Step Ladders: On step ladders, make sure they are not wobbly (from side strain), have loose, bent or broken hinge spreaders, or loose hinges. Make sure the stop on hinge spreaders is not broken. Finally make sure the steps are not broken, split or worn.

Extension Ladders: On extension ladders, make sure the extension locks are not loose, broken, or missing. Make sure locks seat properly while extended, and make sure the rope is not worn, rotted, cut, or defective in any way.

Scaffolds

A competent person must inspect a scaffold and its components after it has been erected, before each shift, and after any event - including severe weather - that could damage it. The inspection should include the foundation, platform, guardrails, and access areas.

Suspension Scaffolds

A competent person must inspect suspension ropes before each shift and after any event that could damage them. Inspect and tighten wire rope clips to the manufacturer's recommendations at the start of each shift. Inspect manila or synthetic rope used for toprails or midrails frequently to ensure that it meets the minimum strength and rail height requirements. [See 1926.502(b)].

Crane- and Derrick-Suspended Personnel Platforms

  • After the trial lift: Immediately after a trial lift, a competent person must inspect the rigging, personnel platform, and the base that supports the crane or derrick.
  • After proof testing: A competent person must inspect the platform and rigging immediately after they have been proof tested.

Summary: Inspecting, Cleaning, and Storing Fall-Protection Equipment

  • Always follow manufacturers' instructions and warnings.
  • Always inspect equipment before using it. Look for damaged or missing parts. Labels, warnings, and other instructions should be readable.
  • If equipment looks like it needs repair, remove it from service and have a competent person examine it.
  • Have a competent person inspect equipment regularly.
  • Mark equipment with a unique code or item number. Identification numbers make it easier to keep track of the equipment and to document maintenance or repair.
  • Wash synthetic rope and body harnesses in soapy water to remove dirt; rinse them with clean water. Air-dry at room temperature. Don't use cleaning solvents; solvents can damage synthetic material.
  • Don't lubricate moving parts unless the manufacturer requires it; lubricants attract dirt.
  • Don't remove information labels and warnings; make sure they're still legible after cleaning.
  • Follow manufacturer's instruction for storing equipment.
  • Store equipment in an area that is clean, dry, and moisture-free; avoid excessive heat, light, oil, and corrosive chemicals.

More information on cleaning and inspection of fall protection equipment.

Inspecting Videos

Anchorage Type Videos

Instructions

Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. When should you inspect the components of personal fall-arrest, restraint, or positioning-device systems for damage or excessive wear?

2. Do not use a personal fall-arrest system that has arrested a fall unless a competent person has determined that the system is safe to use.

3. Which of the following should be looked for when inspecting harness webbing?

4. When inspecting snap-hooks, which of the following defects should be looked for?

5. Which of the following need not be looked at while inspecting scaffolds?


Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.