Why It’s Important to Inspect Fall Arrest Equipment

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Working at heights is often necessary and without proper safety equipment, it’s also dangerous. We explain why it’s essential to inspect your fall arrest equipment regularly, how it’s done and whether inspection tagging is required.

Inspecting equipment saves lives

Fall arrest equipment – such as harnesses, lanyards, pole straps and karabiners – are designed to keep any person working at heights safe from harm. According to Safe Work Australia, 23% of workplace injuries in 2018 were from slips, trips and falls of a person – including falls from a height. Of those injuries, 18 resulted in fatalities. Data from the New Zealand government estimates that falls from a height cost $24 million per year. In the last year alone, there have been 5 fatalities due to falls from a height in New Zealand. Workplace injuries cost companies money and in worst case scenarios, they cost lives. The simplest solution is inspecting your fall arrest equipment regularly to ensure it’s fit for service and will keep your employees safe.

How to inspect fall arrest equipment

The requirements for maintenance and inspection of height safety equipment, including fall arrest equipment, are set out in AS/NZS1891.4 2009. These standards recommend regular visual inspections for signs of wear and tear, and operational inspections to ensure the equipment is safe to use. All inspections should be completed by a competent person who has the necessary training and detailed records of inspections must be kept. Mobile Test ‘n’ Cal are an accredited inspection service with trained technicians who can perform onsite inspections to help minimise downtime on your equipment.

When to inspect fall arrest equipment

Your equipment should be inspected by trained and competent technicians every 3-12 months, depending on the exact type of item, its frequency of use and the harshness of the conditions. A visual inspection should be performed by the operator before and after each use, but this does not substitute for full and complete routine safety inspection. 

Other special circumstances for inspection include:

  • Before it’s first entry into service
  • After it has been in storage
  • After it has been repaired

If your equipment shows any defects during inspection it should be replaced. If the equipment has arrested a fall, it should also be replaced.

Book thorough, compliant inspections with Mobile Test ‘n’ Cal

From mining and transport to education and health, Mobile Test ‘n’ Cal provide quality inspections, testing and calibration to a wide range of industries. To book your next inspection, call 1300 662 119 in Australia, 0800 123 682 in New Zealand or use our online enquiry form.

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