How To Maintain the Highest Level of Work at Height Safety through regular OSHA/ANSI Inspections
October 17, 2023
Home » How To Maintain the Highest Level of Work at Height Safety through regular OSHA/ANSI Inspections
Fall protection is not just about having advanced work-at-height engineered systems in place. It is equally important to have a well-trained staff and to conduct regular inspections of the systems they use. The effectiveness of even the strongest materials and best-designed systems can be compromised if they are not installed, used, and functioning according to their design specifications. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that all fall safety measures are implemented correctly and maintained at their full designed capacity.
According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), employers are required to conduct competent person inspections by someone other than the user on a yearly basis, and sometimes more frequently, depending on conditions and usage. This can be a significant additional task for those who may have thought that installing a fall protection system was all that was necessary.
Inspection requirements can be complex, and manufacturers have varying inspection intervals.
Easing the Burden of Fall Protection Inspections
Ensuring the safety of employees in the workplace is of paramount importance. This can be achieved by adhering to OSHA regulations and ANSI standards. The first step towards achieving this goal is to implement a policy that guarantees compliance with inspection requirements. When organizations attempt to meet these requirements on an ad hoc basis, they eventually lose track and fall out of compliance. Therefore, it is essential to maintain proper organization and keep track of all the necessary inspections and tests to ensure compliance with safety regulations.
To ensure compliance, continuity, and consistency, it is important to keep the following four points in mind to meet inspection standards…
#1 Invest in Employee Training
Every organization should have at least one employee designated as the "competent person" in fall safety-related matters, preferably with managerial experience. This individual or team of individuals must be trained to identify and replace equipment that does not meet inspection requirements. It is essential to have programs that include regular refresher training to keep the safety professionals current with manufacture specifications and any changes in OSHA guidelines, criteria, and requirements, ensuring that the employees remain safe and organizations are compliant.
#2 Track Equipment
A system needs to be implemented that can track the status of fall protection equipment. The system should document important information such as the type of equipment used, its serial number, date of manufacture, and the date of its last inspection. There are advanced systems available that use hand-held RFID scanners and tags attached to all the fall protection equipment. These systems wirelessly connect scanned items to a database, which helps to immediately ascertain the condition of the equipment without requiring the team to complete additional paperwork.
#3 Care for Equipment
Treat equipment with care to ensure durability over long periods of time. Harnesses and lanyards kept loose in the bed of a pickup truck will not last as ones kept organized in a dedicated locker. Eventually, piles of equipment will need to be destroyed, equipment that could have lasted several more years if employees treated them with greater care. Considering the financial impact of equipment replacement and repair delays. it makes sense to implement an equipment storage policy that ensures maximum lifetime benefit from each item and component.
#4 Outsource Inspections to Industry Experts
It can be a wise move to outsource the inspection of fall safety equipment to a certified third party. Even the most experienced employees who work with the same fall protection gear every day can miss critical safety details due to the monotony of routine. Assigning the task to a third-party inspector adds an extra level of safety to ensure that no damage is overlooked. When to Hire Fall Protection Equipment Inspection and Repair Specialists
Why have specialists conduct your Fall Protection Systems Inspections?
It's important to remember that fall protection systems engineered to comply with OSHA regulations and ANSI standards at the time of installation do not receive unconditional certifications. Every system has a finite lifespan and will eventually require inspection, parts replacement, or on-site repairs.
Lighthouse Safety professionals are available to help ensure the safety and longevity of your engineered system. Reach out to our team today to discover more about these services.