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Inspection tagging – safety help or hazard?

It might come as a surprise to discover that workplace accidents can occur just as easily from employers trying to do the right thing, as they can from not following correct procedures.

Ongoing inspections of fall protection equipment is an important part of any company’s OH&S program, and employers are advised to undertake these tasks on a regular basis to ensure that equipment is continually assessed for wear and tear, and is in good operational condition.

To guarantee equipment inspections are undertaken regularly, all AS/NZS 1891.1 fall
protection harnesses, lanyards, and belts are fitted with individual serial numbers for record keeping purposes and dates of withdrawal.

In addition to recording safety inspection dates and as a further safety measure, many employers choose to attach plastic tags or split rings to indicate that fall protection equipment has been checked for safety.

Unfortunately, this can create potentially hazardous situations, as there are a number of risks associated with the practice of inspection tagging.

Firstly, if a tag is placed on or near a connection dee or another connection component, there is the potential risk of the wearer accidentally connecting a support rope through the plastic inspection tag rather than a connection dee.

Should the wearer put any weight on the assembly, the unit will break and the person will fall.

Secondly, placing a tag on or near a connection component, such as a hook or karabiner, interferes with the working operation of the components reducing its effectiveness.

To avoid creating potentially unsafe working conditions, all inspection tagging should be undertaken in consultation with the equipment manufacturer, who can advise on the best positioning of the tags. This will vary from model to model.

The rule of thumb is, if in doubt, position the inspection tag on the body of the harness, away from the work positioning dees or the fall arrest dees.

You can eliminate this risk by using the Miller by Sperian range of fall protection equipment, featuring label packs.

To reduce the need for inspection tagging, all Miller by Sperian fall protection and height equipment has inspection grids incorporated into the harness designs. These allow users to immediately determine the last day of inspection without the need to check log books or refer to inspection tags.

The Miller by Sperian range of fall protection equipment incorporating these grids, includes the Miller Revolution range, the DuraFlex harness range, Polyester harness range and range of miner’s harnesses.

These fall protection harnesses are designed for use in several industries, including construction, welding and confined space and rescue.

Sperian Protection
Ph: 1300 139 166
www.millerfallprotection.com.au