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Fall Protection: Harness Inspection



Every Monday by
Grain Journal
Editor Kendall Trump
Over time, all fall protection harnesses deteriorate with use and exposure.

For this reason, all harnesses must be inspected prior to each use.

Inspect the following components:

Webbing: Grasp the webbing with your hands and bend the webbing. This makes damaged fibers and cuts easier to detect. Follow this procedure, checking both sides of each strap. Look for frayed edges, pulled stitches, cuts, burns, and chemical damage.

D-Rings/Back Pads: Check D-rings for distortion and cracks, breaks, and rough or sharp edges. The D-ring should pivot freely. D-ring pads should be free of damage and wear.

Attachment Buckles: Inspect for unusual wear, frayed or cut fibers, broken stitching on the buckle or D-ring attachments.

Tongue/Grommets: The tongue receives heavy wear from repeated buckling and unbuckling. Inspect for loose, distorted or broken grommets. Loose grommets may signal that the harness has been subjected to fall arrest forces.

Tongue Buckles: Buckle tongues should be free of distortion. They should overlap the buckle frame and move freely back and forth in their socket.

Friction and Mating Buckles: Inspect the buckle for distortion. The outer bars and center bars must be straight. Ensure that the dual-tab release mechanism is free of debris and engages properly.

Fall Arrest Indicators: Harnesses are equipped with fall indicators that indicate if the harness has been subjected to the forces associated with a fall. To learn more about the fall indicators on your harness, be sure to read the user manual provided by the manufacturer. Fall arrest indicators vary by manufacturer.

Harnesses that do not pass inspection should be disposed of in a manner that prevents future use.

Source: Dillon, Tom. (2014, October 2). How to Inspect and Maintain Personal Fall Arrest Systems. Retrieved from:

Source: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Gates Mills, OH;; and content creation expert for Safety Made Simple, Inc., Olathe, KS;


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