A full body harness, an improvement over the previous half body harness, often called safety harness is a very effective personal protective equipment which is used to provide protection against falls from a height. The lanyard is a light but strong rope used for connecting a full body harness to strong and stable anchorage point that reduces the impact of the fall. As persons working at height take this fall protection equipment to different extremities, there are high chances that they deteriorate over time. It is the duty of employers and employees to maintain fall protection equipment in good shape and condition, including appropriate replacement.
There are a wide range of causes of degradation which can potentially reduce the required level of protection it offers during fall. However, there are no set boundary limits distinguishing those devices that are in sound condition or not. Therefore, it is important that we have an effective inspection system to detect abnormalities which may jeopardize safety during at-height works.
A systematic inspection regime for full body harness and lanyard is required to be followed as given below.
Prior to use – carried out by wearer each time before use. A visual check should be undertaken in good light conditions and will normally take a few minutes.
Half yearly – carried out by designated competent persons. This periodic inspection is more formal and in-depth inspections should be carried out periodically.