At Malta Dynamics, we often receive questions about the life expectancy of fall arrest equipment such as safety harnesses. This week, we decided to discuss the lifespan of fall arrest equipment and the difference between expiration and manufacture dates.
When you want to check the lifespan of your fall risk equipment, the first place to look is your equipment’s manufacturer instructions. Depending on your equipment, the manufacturer may have included a lifespan statement indicating when the product’s usability will most likely end. The manufacturer information includes all the specifics you need to understand your equipment’s shelf life.
While learning about your fall protection equipment’s lifespan, make sure you look at the expiration date instead of the manufacture date. Expiration dates tell you when a product’s shelf life will end, while manufacture dates tell you when the product was created.
For fall protection equipment products, it’s important to note that they often don’t have a specific expiration date. Instead, manufacturers include suggested lifespan dates you should pay attention to while keeping track of your products’ condition.
If you’re using Malta Dynamics products, note that our self-retracting lifelines (SRLs) and safety harnesses do not have expiration dates. As long as they pass a competent person inspection as designated by OSHA, you can use our safety harnesses and SRLs for many years. By storing your safety harnesses appropriately and ensuring they pass inspections, you could have harnesses for up to 10 or 12 years that arrest falls like brand new.
Even though manufacturers may include a suggested lifespan statement, it doesn’t necessarily mean your products will last that long. If you’re working in harsh conditions, wear and tear on your safety harness may happen more rapidly and it may expire early compared to its estimated lifespan. Just because a product could last up to five years doesn’t mean you should continue using it if it doesn’t pass inspection.
Complete your pre-use and competent person inspections more regularly when working in harsh conditions to ensure your safety harnesses pass.
Malta Dynamics has safety harness products to keep you and your crew safe while working. We know the critical role safety harnesses play in fall protection systems, which is why we design our products with comfort and safety in mind. Our safety harnesses come in a broad range of styles to ensure you stay comfortable and safe at any job site. Additionally, we offer products that make wearing your safety harness easier, like extra harness pads, D-Ring extenders, clips and more.
If you’re wondering if your safety harness passes inspection, you can download our free inspection form that works for all fall protection harnesses.
However, if you prefer to have trained professionals inspect your safety harnesses, Malta Dynamics can help. We offer safety inspections as part of a one-day, fundamental on-site hazard analysis. Our professionals can conduct ABCs fall protection training for your crew. We can also perform safety equipment inspections, including an analysis of your fall protection gear, a basic facility assessment and a site walk.
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