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

Fall Protection

Harness and Lanyard

It’s very important to conduct this inspection to ensure that only undamaged fall protection equipment is available for use. For more information see: 29 CFR 1910.66 appendix C, and the ISO standard ICS 13.340.60.

Identify and list all positioning and climbing assist equipment found on the rig (for example, the derrickman's belt, derrick climber belt, etc.). Inspect the equipment; any harness or lanyard that is not in good condition should be tagged "DO NOT USE" and removed from working areas.

Harness and Lanyard (Continued)



Check that harnesses and lanyards are stored in an area that is free from chemical exposure, out of direct sunlight, and away from any damaging heat sources. Soft nylon equipment should never be hung with cables, chains, or other hard iron equipment that may damage the webbing.


List each unit separately on the inspection form. Check that all equipment is numbered or otherwise identified so each piece of equipment is unique and easily identifiable. Check that the manufacturer’s name, model number, and rating are clear and visible.

Harness Straps

Check that straps are relatively soft and pliable with no signs of hardening. Look for burns caused by chemical or heat that create hard non-flexible areas on the strapping. Look for damaged threads or separation of the fibers that would indicate some type of damage. Look for torn or frayed sewing and stitching. Examine wear areas around fittings and buckles. Thimble eyes should not be deformed, bent, or missing.

Harness and Lanyard (Continued)

drilling line

Harness Hardware

Inspect all hardware closely for damage and or deformation. Check to see if tongue buckles have been bent or side loaded. Ensure that hardware functions properly and goes together smoothly without undo force.

The striking area should not be mushroomed to the point that splinters or shards will break off when they are struck.


Check that rope or webbing does not show signs of being "hooked back" on itself unless the lanyard is specifically designed by the manufacturer for "tie-back" use. (See DBI-SALA® and Miller) Ropes should be smooth, without knots and should be in unmodified manufacture condition. Any lanyard found to be discolored, knotted, cracked, frayed or have loose fibers, should be replaced. Attached shock-absorbing packs should be free of holes, tears, and stitching should be free of rips or loose strands.

Retractable Lifelines


Be sure to do this inspection to ensure that these critical fall protection devices are functioning properly and installed correctly. For more information see: 29 CFR 1910.66 App C.


List the location of each retractable lifeline on the rig and note the type of fall protection device. Identification of the model, physical ratings, and an identification number should be clearly visible.

Anchor Points

Check that anchor points for self-retracting lifelines are identified and separate from any point used to suspend an active load (i.e. attaching to a crane hook that is also suspending a load.) The anchor point should be capable of supporting a 5,000 pound load for each employee attached.

Engineering specialists should be available to identify attachment points meeting the requirements of the code. These points should be identified and inspected before each use and following rig up.

Harness and Lanyard (Continued)

Hanger Hardware

Check that hardware used to attach the main body of the retractable lifeline is a positive locking device such as a screw lock carabiner or a 4-part shackle (bolt pin with nut and cotter) attached to an engineered pad eye, an approved strap, or properly installed beam clamp. Confirm that the attachment point is as close to vertical over the work area to prevent swing injuries.

Access Points

Check that the access point is in an area where employees can easily access the device and safely attach their fall protection. It should not be on a ladder where there is no platform.

End Connections

Check that end connections are undamaged, unaltered, and have a double-locking snap hook that moves freely in the eye. If it has one, check if the slip joint indicator shows if the machine has been put under load. If the unit has stopped a fall, or if any other deficiencies are noted with the end connections, take the unit out of service and return it to an approved service center for repair and recertification.

Harness and Lanyard (Continued)

Cable Condition

Examine the cable by pulling it out fully and inspecting it over its entire length. Check that it is free of rust and broken wires. Let the cable spool up slowly and note any problems while spooling. Check the plastic guide where the cable enters the housing and ensure that it is not worn out and is still protecting the cable from harm.

Storage & Tag Lines

Ensure that the unit is equipped with a tag line so the cable can be stored inside the unit when it is not in use. Make sure that any cover used to keep the unit clean does not interfere with the cable. Full body harnesses should not be left hanging on the life line.

Date of Last Service

Note the last date of service/repair. Service and repair of retractable lifelines should only be done by a manufacturer certified technician. Do not attempt to repair this sensitive safety equipment on the rig.



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. If you find a harness or lanyard that is not in good condition when inspecting fall protection equipment on a rig, what should you do?

2. When inspecting harnesses and lanyards, which of the following is NOT in compliance with best practices?

3. When inspecting lanyards on a rig, check for all of the following, except _____.

4. What action should be taken if any component of fall protection has stopped a fall?

5. Anchor points should be capable of supporting a _____ pound load for each employee attached.

Have a great day!

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