Full-body harnesses are one element of the personal fall-arrest system required by the U.S. Occupational Safety And Health Administration for workers performing a job in an elevated position. Personal fall-arrest systems are generally required anywhere the worker might fall more than 6 feet. The system consists of an anchor point to attach a lanyard or lifeline, a full-body harness with straps or webbing to distribute weight forces over thigh, pelvis, waist, chest and shoulders and a D-ring in the back to suspend the worker in an upright position, and a lanyard or lifeline to connect the D-ring to the anchor point. OSHA recommends visual inspection of full-body harness components before every use and an annual inspection by a qualified person.
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Bend each belt of the harness in a U-shape and look for torn or frayed fibres, pullet stitches or any fraying of edges on the harness. Also examine for any cuts or damage caused by exposure to chemicals. Inspect the nylon webbing for burn marks or other abrasions that could weaken the material.
Examine the integrity of the attachment point of the D-ring. The D-ring should be at a 90-degree angle and should be free to pivot without binding. Check the D-ring for excessive wear, cracks or other deterioration.
Examine buckles on the harness for bending or warping of the buckle, or frayed or severed fibres where the buckles attach. Any rivets at buckle attachment points should be flat against the fabric and tight. Check the tongue and straps of each buckle for wear due to excessive use. Inspect any grommets to make sure they are intact and not damaged by use or a previous fall.
Make sure all required labels and instructions for use are in place on the harness and are legible.
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