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How can I make my Self Retracting Lifeline last longer in the field?

Fall protection equipment is expensive so it’s important to make your equipment last if possible while still passing the necessary inspections. A lot of times, safety is an expense we don’t like to spend the money on because you don’t see the return on it from a job but it’s something you must have. It’s important to keep equipment in good shape because you and your employees’ lives depend on it. 

PROPER STORAGE AND USAGE

One thing that can be done to make fall protection equipment last longer is to properly store it. The best place to store your equipment is in or near your work area in a temperature controlled, dry environment with good lighting and access all the time.

Some examples of improper storage locations would be tossed in the bed of a pickup truck, thrown on the floor of a locker, folded over an edge or in a damp, extremely dry or exposed to extreme heat or extreme cold area. These improper storage locations place stress on the materials of the gear and shorten the lifespan of its use. 

Proper usage can also extend the lifetime use of your fall protection products. There are certain activities to avoid when working at heights.

Those activities include:

  • using safety harnesses in ways they are not designed to be used
  • walking too fast
  • jogging
  • jumping from ladders when attached to a lifeline can cause the breaking mechanism to engage
  • using an overhead lifeline in a leading edge situation can damage the lifeline cable
    • not to mention improperly arrest a fall or not arrest a fall at all

Also, when using or inspecting a Self-Retracting Lifeline (SRL) it’s important to retract the lifeline into the housing slowly as to prevent internal damage to the lifeline. Also, when performing “strike tests” (ensuring the breaking mechanism of the SRL is working properly) be sure to handle a portion of the lifeline that will not trigger the load indicator.

INSPECTIONS ARE INTEGRAL 

Lastly, regular inspections of your fall protection products are key to ensuring the products are working correctly and within acceptable range of all criteria.

Preventative maintenance for personal fall protection equipment includes inspections prior to every use. These inspections look for signs of wear and damage to the system’s components. If you find any signs of damage, some components of the system can be repaired by the manufacturer, or a manufacturer authorized repair center.

Additionally, most manufacturers require that the equipment passes an annual competent person inspection and a daily pre-use inspection. Even if a safety harness appears intact and without problems, unseen wear may have already occurred. Using the device after the maker’s suggested time frame as well could lead to failure to protect a worker during a fall.

FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT SHOULD LAST

Proper maintenance and inspection of your safety equipment is key to ensuring your workers remain safe on the job. We’ve created these handy checklists to make inspecting the condition of your Malta Dynamics equipment a seamless part of your everyday process. You may freely download and copy any of these forms that pertain to the equipment used in your operation.

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