The best equipment available is only the best as long as it remains in the state that it was made. A good maintenance schedule will go a long way to ensuring that it does so. The user’s life depends on their personal fall protection systems and equipment being maintained properly.
Equipment should be:
kept clean and dry and properly stored;
thoroughly dried before storage;
repaired or altered only when approved by the manufacturer.
Regular checks and inspections must be carried out. It is a good idea to get into the habit of doing this so that it becomes almost second nature. Not only will it ensure that any deterioration is spotted in good time, but also under many regulations, it is a legal requirement. These inspections should be carried out by a competent person and their results recorded so that in the event of some incident occurring, the records can be consulted to define the company’s position.
New equipment should be checked before use to make sure it is appropriate for the intended use, that it operates correctly and that it is in good condition.
If there is a recognised hazard in the environment in which the equipment is to be used, e.g. exposure to acids or alkalis or grit blasting etc, then the inspection routine should be altered to take account of this and damaged equipment must be taken out of service immediately.
Gravity has an uncompromising way of punishing even the briefest lapses in attention and care. In order to ensure that workers return home safe and sound from even the most hazardous jobs, the correct employment of fall protection equipment, at the right time, in the right place and under the right circumstances is vital.
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