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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

ESG team members visit hundreds of facilities each year whose existing fall protection systems require inspection, testing, evaluation, or re-certification. Unfortunately, these particular systems frequently lack documentation, proper labeling, and compliancy with OSHA/ANSI standards.

When it is determined that an existing fall protection system is inadequate, users want to know why that system should not be used. The short answer being that: these systems were probably not supplied by a fall protection manufacturer and, instead, provided by a miscellaneous fabrication facility or other alternative source.

Does this mean that safety equipment really needs to come from a fall protection manufacturer?

Yes and here are some reasons as to why:

  1. Compliance – ANSI requires that all fall protection equipment (anchor, harness, lanyard, etc.) is properly labeled. Non-fall protection suppliers do not include proper equipment labels which means that end users have no way to know the equipment rating, restrictions, and inspection schedule for that safety system.
  2. Testing and Engineering – When equipment is being used to save a person’s life, it is only commonsense that the product should be extensively tested along as well as analyzed by a third-party professional engineer. Fall protection manufacturers extensively engineer and test fall protection equipment. Whereas alternative suppliers will neglect this process, leaving end users with an untested and unsafe product.
  3. Insurance – The level of insurance required for a fall protection manufacturer is much different than say a fabrication shop that makes metal architectural signs. So, in short, a non-fall protection manufacturer will not be properly insured in the event a product defect results in a lawsuit.
  4. Safe Use – When an experienced supplier of fall protection works with a client to provide a safe system, they always employ their extensive knowledge to ensure end user safety. These alternative manufacturers do not have this experience and, as a result, systems from these miscellaneous suppliers are frequently set-up that exposes end users to serious hazards.
  5. Documentation – Fall protection manufacturers always supply detailed instruction with their products that describe the exact specifications and safe use requirements of their product. This type of documentation is not provided with equipment supplied by any other alternative manufacturers.

OSHA has increasingly been inquiring employers as to whether they have proper inspection documentation on their fall protection equipment. In order to provide this information and provide safe systems for their workers, employers should be sure to always contact fall protection manufacturers for their safety needs.

If you have any further questions on the manufacturing of fall protection equipment, please feel free to contact me at my office at 1.800.466.6385 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..