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SAFETY TALK – 7

Fall Protection Equipment

Approvals and Inspection

[This talk should include hands-on inspection of equipment.]

When exposed to the risk of falling, your fall protection system may be all that keeps you from being seriously injured. Using an approved harness or belt means trusting your life to equipment that has been designed and tested to perform the right way.

Safety harnesses or belts should be approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Look for CSA labels on lanyards, shock absorbers and rope grabs. The label means that the equipment has been manufactured and tested to meet high standards.

Before using fall-arresting equipment, check components carefully:

  • On your harness, make sure that straps, buckles, and other hardware are intact and undamaged.
  • The lanyard should be securely fastened to the D-ring.
  • Inspect the lanyard for fraying, kinking, and loose or damaged hardware.
  • Inspect shock-absorbing lanyards regularly. Look for torn stitching on tear-away types. Check other types for damage such as cracks and loose parts.
  • Inspect fibre rope lifelines for fraying, burns, kinking, cuts and signs of wear and tear.
  • Check self-retracting devices for smooth operation. Pull out the line and jerk it suddenly. Braking action should be immediate and tight.
  • Never use lanyards for other purposes such as lifting objects or using as tow ropes.

Remember: Any equipment involved in an actual fall must be removed from service and inspected by a competent person before being returned to service.

In New Brunswick, the law on fall protection equipment can be found in Regulation 91-191 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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