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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

Fall protection product inspection is a key component of safe work. Your life is on the line when working at heights, so ensuring equipment is functioning properly is a step that should never be ignored.

Every product requires its own specific inspection process, so proper worker training becomes a central component of any inspection. It is the responsibility of the jobsite Competent Person to ensure all workers are fully trained in the use of all applicable equipment.

Best-practice product inspection involves establishing a methodical and easily repeatable inspection process; this ensures not only that no component is missed, but also that the inspector quickly develops proficiency in inspecting the equipment they use regularly. Inspection speed is improved, and the risk of accidental oversight of damage is reduced.

Guardian Fall Protection equipment must be inspected prior to each use by the end user, and at least every 6 months by a Competent Person. Competent Person inspections must be recorded on the equipment.

Adhere to the following guidelines when inspecting a self-retracting lifeline (SRL):

  • Each step must involve the inspection for any/all damage, including, but not limited to, corrosion, deformation, pits, burrs, rough surfaces, sharp edges, cracking, rust, excessive heating, and alteration.
  • If SRL fails inspection at any time it must be immediately removed from service and either destroyed or returned to the manufacturer for repair.
  • Always wear gloves and eye protection when performing inspection.
  • Remember the “3-Ds”: Deployment, Dates (labels), Defects/Damage/Deterioration.

42003 - Velocity SRL

When inspecting a self-retracting lifeline, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the SRL impact indicator. The impact indicator will take the form of either a color indicator on the snap hook/rebar hook, or a shock absorber. Color indicator will display red if deployed. Shock absorber must not indicate any signs of deployment. Visually inspect shock absorber webbing and stitching, but do not cut away protective shrink tube. Shrink tube must remain fully intact at all times. If any sign of deployment is found, immediately remove product from service. If no deployment is observed, continue with the inspection.
  2. Inspect product labeling. All labels provided with equipment at time of shipment from the manufacturer must be present and legible. Now that our first two “Ds” (deployment and dates) are covered, we can move on to inspecting for more general damage.
  3. Inspect the carabiner connection point. If applicable, carabiner connection point should fully rotate/pivot, as defined by the manufacturer.
  4. Inspect all fasteners (pop rivets, bolts, or screws) are fully flush with housing. If applicable, ensure all welds are finished.
  5. Test retraction functionality. You can properly check retraction functionality by pulling out a minimum 4’ of lifeline and allowing it to retract back into the unit housing under light tension; lifeline must fully retract.
  6. Test braking functionality. Pull sharply on the lifeline; brakes must engage.
  7. Inspect full length of lifeline. In addition to any other damage, inspect for any broken stitching, fraying, and bird-caging, as applicable. To check for burrs or other deformation, run your hand along the lifeline while allowing it to slowly retract; remember to wear gloves.
  8. Inspect snap hook or rebar hook. Ensure that a minimum of 2 independent actions are needed to open the hook gate, and that the gate is self-closing and self-locking. Inspect any pop rivets, as applicable, ensuring all rivets are flush with hook.

Guardian Fall Protection is committed to our mission of providing innovative solutions, educating the community, and saving lives. Please contact us with any questions regarding equipment inspection.