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What is a Safety Harness? How to maintain your safety harness?

Wearers of safety harnesses avoid falling from great heights by restraints. If you wear a belt or harness, you are significantly less likely to be injured in a fall.

The harness prevents the user from hitting the ground if they fall by attaching themselves to a stationary object. Falling from a height is one of the most common causes of personal injury in the workplace, so make sure you have the proper equipment when working up high.

While maintaining your safety harness may appear simple, there are a set of rules and regulations you must follow to ensure the safety of your team.

  • Hang your lanyard when storing your harness. To ensure safety, make sure your lanyard is well-hung. This way you can save it from being crushed, bent, dampened, or torn by other objects, which could compromise the PPE.

  • It's out of reach. Although you want to ensure your and your team's safety, check that no one picks up a harness and uses it the wrong way. Unintended use may, at the very least, cause your harness to re-adjust to fit their body, putting your safety at risk during your next shift. At worst, they could seriously injure themselves or ruin the equipment, putting lives in danger.

  • Have a chilly, dry environment. It is critical to keep your harness out of direct sunlight and away from any type of heat source when storing it. Heat and UV rays can degrade the integrity of your PPE, causing it to fail when you need it the most.

Cleaning your equipment should be done regularly. This action will not only ensure that there are no substances on the equipment that could degrade it, but it will also ensure that you can accurately see each part of the equipment so that you can conduct a thorough inspection.

Cleaning in four steps:

  • Dampen the harness with warm water and wipe away any residue on the straps or buckles.

  • Make a lather with soap and water on the straps.

  • Rinse the straps with clean water and a sponge.

  • Wipe down the equipment and hang it to dry away from heat sources.

Never use bleach, chlorine, or abrasives on your safety harness. These substances can compromise the integrity of your protective equipment, putting you and your team at risk. However, appropriately maintaining your harness should include an inspection plan. To ensure that your harness is fit for purpose, all equipment must be checked before and after use to identify any areas of potential concern.

There are a few crucial signs of damage to look for:

  • Burned areas;

  • Glazing;

  • Tears and cuts;

  • Symptoms of aging in general;

Regardless of how old your harness is, if it has been damaged in any way due to improper storage or an accident that has compromised the integrity of your safety equipment, it should be discarded.

In reality, the lifespan of your safety harness is determined by: how frequently you use it daily. While 5-6 years is the recommended lifespan, this could mean different things for different organizations.

How safe and secure they are kept. If you use, store, and maintain your safety harness properly, there's no reason why it shouldn't last longer than 5-6 years in some cases.

Finally, the longevity of your safety harnesses depends on them being used correctly by you and your workers. As previously stated, exterior damage may occur if the safety harness is used improperly or in an emergency, compromising the longevity of your equipment.

Regardless of how frequently you use your PPE, the key to extending its lifespan is to properly care for and check it regularly. While you can do this on-site, we've discovered that our accredited 6-month checks help extend the lifespan of less used harnesses that have passed the 5-6 year mark and provide an unbiased opinion on the safety of your equipment.

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