My new safety harness has a manufacture date from a year ago, is it still okay to use?On this week’s episode of Dynamic Discussions, Greg and David give us insight on manufacture dates and how long fall protection equipment is good for. The manufacturer of your fall protection equipment will determine when the product expires. At Malta Dynamics, we do not put expiration dates on our equipment. As long as it passes a pre-use and annual inspection, it is safe to use. It’s extremely important to check the manufacturer’s labels on your fall protection equipment to determine if it is still safe for use.

Manufacturer Specific

At Malta Dynamics, we keep all of our fall protection equipment in a temperature controlled warehouse, so that each product is kept in its optimal storage ecosystem. Because of this ideal storage, you might receive piece of protection gear with a manufacturer date from the previous year, but let’s think about a similar scenario: cars. When you purchase a brand new car, from 2022, chances are the car was actually assembled in 2021. That car is still considered brand new and is in perfect condition to sell. The fall protection at Malta Dynamics is pretty much the same. We also don’t put expiration dates on our fall protection because we abide by the ANSI standard for inspections and as long as the product passes the daily pre-use and yearly inspections, our equipment is still good to use. Of course, we cant speak for other manufacturers, but that’s how we do thing at out facility on Ohio, USA. 

Who Inspects Safety Gear? 

All parts of the personal fall arrest system are required to have a documented inspection at least annually, or more often. Factors that may contribute to a more frequent inspection are manufacturer’s instruction, and work environments that contribute to deteriorating products or materials. To answer who performs the pre-use inspection, it is the user of the safety gear. If I am utilizing a PFAS for my work today, it is my responsibility to inspect and properly fit the product before wearing or using it. For the annual inspection, your company’s Fall Protection Competent Person will keep the records of inspection, and either perform the inspections, or facilitate the inspections of safety harnesses for your company.

If you do not know who your Fall Protection Competent Person is, start with your immediate supervisor, or your safety manager.

OSHA and ANSI Standards?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) both have language to be followed when it comes to fall protection equipment inspections.

According to ANSI/ASSE Z359.2:

“Fall protection equipment shall be inspected by the authorized person at least once at the beginning of each eight-hour shift in which it is used to verify that it has not sustained any wear or damage that would require its removal from service. Fall protection and fall rescue equipment shall be inspected on a regular basis not to exceed one year (or more frequently if required by the manufacturer’s instructions) by a competent person or a competent rescuer, as appropriate, to verify that the equipment is safe for use.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration explains daily use inspections in standard 1910.140 (c) (18), “Personal fall protection systems must be inspected before initial use during each work shift for mildew, wear, damage and other deterioration, and defective components must be removed from service.” 

Maintenance and Inspections are the Keys to Longevity

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 fall protection inspection forms that pertain to the equipment used in your operation.

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