Inspection requirements of Harnesses and Lanyards.
Zurich Engineering’s prognosis May 2015
Employers providing Harnesses and Lanyards for the protection of their employees have a number of legal duties placed upon them. This Technical Fact Sheet sets out these requirements to ensure that you remain within the law.
Many employers supply their work force with harnesses and lanyards as part of their personal protection equipment (PPE). This type of equipment is covered by a number of Regulations and this fact sheet details the main requirements and how to deal with them.
Use of harnesses and lanyards
As the harness and lanyard is to be used in a work environment the requirements of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 apply. The requirements include ensuring the equipment is suitable for its intended use, is correctly maintained and the persons using it are trained in its safe and correct use.
The next area to consider is whether the harnesses are to be used for raising and/or lowering of a person. This may include rope access work or personnel recovery. In either case the harness and lanyard is considered to be a lifting accessory used for the lifting and/or lowering of persons and as such requires a Thorough Examination every six months under the requirements of The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
Where the harness and lanyard are only used for "fall arrest" purposes the equipment should be inspected under the requirements of Regulation 12 of The Working at Heights Regulations 2005, the recommended frequency for inspection being 6 months.
All harnesses and lanyards are supplied under the requirements of The Personal Protection Equipment Regulations 2002. All equipment supplied under these regulations is approved by a Notified Body and is marked with a CE mark. One of the requirements of these Regulations is that the manufacturer must state maximum service life and ultimate life of the equipment. The service life is considered to commence from the day it is first put in to service. It is the duty of the person making this equipment available in the workplace to keep a register of when the equipment is first issued and ensure that it is not used beyond its service life. The ultimate life is the date at which the harness or lanyard should not be used regardless of the length of service life.
Where Zurich Engineering engineer surveyors inspect this equipment and find that harnesses or lanyards have exceeded their service life or ultimate life the items will be reported as such and should be removed from service before further use.
Harnesses and Lanyards used for lifting and lowering of persons should be examined under the requirements of The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 every six months.
Harnesses and Lanyards used for fall restraint should be inspected under the requirements of The Working at Heights Regulations 2005 every 6 months.
All Harnesses and Lanyards should be marked with their date of manufacture and will be given a maximum service life and ultimate life by the manufacturer. If either of these dates are exceeded the harness or lanyard should be withdrawn from service.