When should a safety harness be inspected in Australia?

Author: Brendan Clayton   Date Posted:20 November 2018 

The short answer is every 6 months, however its recommended more often if the harness is used in harsh environments including dusty, abrasive or corrosive work environments.

The requirements for the maintenance of height safety equipment are included in AS/NZS1891.4 2009 which covers the selection, safe use and maintenance of industrial fall arrest systems and devices designed for use in restraint technique, limited free fall and free fall applications. This Standard should be referenced for full details on equipment maintenance and inspection as this briefing note only provides a summary. Industrial fall arrest systems and devices include safety harnesses, horizontal lifelines and rails, fall arrest devices and associated lanyards, connectors, anchorages and fittings. Maintenance covers the maintenance requirements and the recommendations for inspection, storage, servicing and cleaning of this equipment.

Standard Requirements

The standard requires that all personal use equipment (harness, lanyard, connectors and fall arrest devices) and common use equipment (ropes, slings, fall arrest devices and mobile attachment devices) are inspected by the competent operator before and after each use. Where the operator is not competent (e.g. during operator training), these inspections should be carried out by an operator who is competent or by a height safety supervisor. The standard defines the following:-

Competent Person

A person who, through a combination of training, knowledge and experience, has acquired knowledge and skills enabling that person to correctly perform a specified task.

Height Safety Operator

A person who is able to perform harness based work at heights under the direct supervision of a height safety supervisor.

Height Safety Supervisor

A person who is competent in the skills needed to perform harness based work at heights, to supervise other operators including those at entry level and to participate in first response rescue.

Height Safety Manager

A person who is competent in the selection, design, manufacture or installation of height safety systems or equipment, or the development of control measures or work practices.

Height Safety Equipment Inspector

A person who is competent in the skills needed to detect faults in height safety equipment and determine remedial action

Operators should be aware that their lives depend on the efficiency and durability of the equipment and proper inspection is their first line of defence against the hazards of faulty equipment.

Training and assessment of operators shall include competency in carrying out the operator inspections.

Inspections shall be by sight and touch and shall include the opening of any equipment where access for daily inspection is provided to ensure that the internal components are in good condition.

Where equipment is considered in any way doubtful by the competent person, it should be tagged out of service. A label should be attached to the equipment indicating the defect and referred to a height safety equipment inspector for further action.

So when should a Safety Harness be inspected?

The short answer is every 6 months, however its recommended more often if the harness is used in harsh environments including dusty, abrasive or corrosive work environments.

It is the users responsibility to visually inspect the harness before each use.

Industroquip Safety & Signage have competent inspectors of Safety Harnesses and Height Safety Equipment in-house, call 1300 554 192 to make a booking.


Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up