Harnesses and Fall Protection Equipment

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Off and on in the past few months I've noticed sellers flogging off Full Body Harnesses and other related fall arrest equipment.

Buyer beware!

If you plan to use this equipment in the workplace, then there's a few things you need to be aware of-

  • Australian Standard 1891.4 (Industrial Fall-Arrest Systems and Devices- Selection, Use and Maintenance) specifies the maximum lifespan of a harness or other soft good (such as lanyards) is 10 years.

That's 10 years regardless of use. The item can be brand new out of the box- it doesn't matter.

  • Most State legislation related to fall protection also specifies that the harness should comply with AS1891.1 (Industrial Fall-Arrest Systems and Devices- Safety Belts and Harnesses).

There's a bit of controversy here as a harness that fully complies with this standard will have the Australian Standard logo (The 5 ticks of approval) and a unique serial number. Some manufacturers however, make their harnesses to comply (And will label it so), but they have not gone down the path of testing and approval through Australian Standards- the long and short of it is that you'll get a harness with a label that says it's made to comply, but you won't find the ticks of approval from Australian Standards.

Some service companies and worksites won't allow that- some will specify that it must be fully tested and compliant.

  • By the way, if you're not aware, harnesses used in industrial settings must be inspected every 6 months by a competent person, under AS1891.4
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