How often should a harness be inspected?

Three levels of inspection are recommended:

Pre – use check – this is carried out by the user at the beginning of each shift to check there are no visible or surface defects. Any defects should be brought to the attention of your employer.

Detailed inspection – a formally recorded inspection should be undertaken at least every 6 months. However, for frequently used equipment it is suggested that this is increased to at least every three months, particularly when the equipment is used in arduous environments (e.g. demolition, steel erection, scaffolding, steel masts/towers with edges.

Interim inspection - These are also in-depth, recorded inspections and may be appropriate in addition to pre-use checks and detailed inspections. Interim inspections may be needed between detailed inspections because the employer’s risk assessment has identified a risk that could result in significant deterioration, affecting the safety of the lanyard before the next detailed inspection is due. The need for and frequency of interim inspections will depend on use. Examples of situations where they may be appropriate include risks from arduous working environments involving paints, chemicals or grit blasting operations or risks from acidic or alkaline environments if the type of fabric the lanyard is made from cannot be determined (some fabrics offer low resistance to acids or alkalis).