Working in any industry with a potential danger of a fall requires all workers to wear a safety harness. Its function is to save our life if it comes to a fall. However, in order for it to be fully functional, it needs to be in perfect condition, inspected from time to time and put on as well as adjusted correctly. Unfortunately, many people working in such dangerous job positions don’t know how to inspect their safety harness before putting it on, even though it can mean life or death.
Among the top tips for the construction industry is learning how to inspect, put on and adjust a safety belt properly. For starters, you should check the labels as well as load indicators on the harness. If you don’t see it, don’t wear the harness. Next, you should inspect webbing, as well as examine hardware and scan stitching – it must all be impeccable and intact. And lastly, you should learn how to put it on properly, fasten it and adjust it as otherwise, it won’t have any function.
1. Check the labels as well as load indicators
When it comes to giving your safety harness a proper inspection, you should start with the basics i.e. labels. Find the labels and check what they say. They usually have information about the model, manufacturer as well as some warnings, precautions as well as weight capacity. A unique serial number exists so you could identify your personal harness.
This is especially useful if it comes to a fall, as by these numbers your company can contact the manufacturer. So, your examination starts with the identification of the labels as well as their intelligibility. On the other hand, load indicators should also be checked separately. These are folds that are sewn into the webbing on the back of the harness. When a fall happens, these folds tend to rip and threads tend to fray, so if these indicators show signs of wear and tear, they should immediately be discarded.
2. Inspect webbing
Another key thing you should inspect on a safety harness is the webbing, as the crucial aspect. As it is made of fabric, it is the most commonplace for noticing imperfections. Similar to any other fabric, it is prone to cuts, rips and abrasions. You should examine the webbing in detail paying attention to any, even minor flaws. If you notice any defects, discard them from use. Also, things such as excessive heat as well as chemicals can cause wear and tear on webbing, so you should also check for burns, scorch marks, melting.
Another, perhaps not so obvious thing is dirt. If your harness is dirty, you shouldn’t use it then. Not because of dirt per se, but because of the fact that it can cover up other major defects which can impede its full functionality. And it must be fully functional at all times as it can be a matter of life or death. Moreover, some chemicals can cause corrosion or abrasion over time, so pay attention to that as well.
3. Examine hardware
Besides the soft part of the harness, it also contains some hardware in form of different kinds of D-rings, leg buckles, chest buckles and belts. You shouldn’t wear a harness whose metal components have been dented or bent, it’s far too dangerous. If you notice a denture, it might indicate that a harness was subjected to a fall.
4. Scan stitching
The stitching is a part of your harness that is sewn together and that actually holds your body weight, so you should make sure that it is firm and without flaws. They need to be intact in order to maximize their holding power, which can be crucial. If you notice any broken or missing threads, your harness fails its inspection test.
5. Put it on correctly and make sure it’s fastened
When you have checked all the previously mentioned details and your harness passed the inspection, you can put it on safely. Make sure that you put it on in the right way, check that everything is in place and fastened. Maybe have a colleague double-check it for extra safety.
Learning how to put on a safety harness correctly is quintessential. Take your time to master the skill and never skip these crucial steps of thorough inspection.