The Requirement to Inspect Engineered Fall Protection Systems

Or, give us a call: 1-888-936-0752

Protecting your greatest asset…your people.

Regular inspections protect workers from accidents and injuries by making sure the equipment is safe to use. Moreover, the safety inspection procedure also increases awareness in your employees and reminds them to be mindful of potential hazards.

When it comes to engineered fall protection solutions, in addition to being inspected before each use by an authorized user, for safety and performance reasons, having your fall protection systems and equipment regularly inspected by a qualified and competent fall protection specialist every year is an essential part of a proactive compliant maintenance program.

Regular inspections of some types of fall protection are required by law.

Regular inspections are essential in keeping your employees safe and your business OSHA 1910/1926 and ANSI Z359 compliant. According to OSHA guidelines, fall protection equipment must undergo an annual inspection. Depending on the system, fall protection equipment and working conditions, inspections may need to take place more often.

The American National Standards Institute or ANSI, which gives the industry best practices, requires all suspended maintenance fall protection systems to be recertified after any renovation operation occurs. Active fall protection systems such as Rigid Tieback Anchors, Horizontal Lifeline Systems, Vertical Lifeline and Climb Systems, Rigid Rail Track & Trolley Systems, and Davit Systems must undergo recertification every five years per ANSI Z359.

Who is best equipped to perform inspections?

The final aspect of installing engineered fall protection systems should be some level of user training and written procedures to follow when carrying out inspections. Inspection teams will often be the manufacture or those trained and authorized by the manufacturer to inspect, repair, and maintain the system. Inspectors work directly with responsible building owners and onsite safety professionals to ensure their fall protection systems and associated PPE are in good working order, operate as designed and according to manufacturer’s instructions, and identify problems before they become major costs or potential safety risks to users.

Inspections must be performed following any major alteration made to an existing installation. Following the inspection, the building owner must keep a certification record of each inspection and any tests performed on the system. The certification record must include:

  • The date of the inspection
  • The signature of the person who performed the inspection
  • The number of building support structures and equipment that was inspected.

These certification records must be kept readily available for review by authorities and by the maintenance contractor. Full-service and single source companies like Safeguard Industries maintains up-to-date inspection records of all Safeguard-manufactured equipment and installations. Copies of the inspection data are recorded in the building owner’s/employer’s Inspection Log. The Inspection Log contains the necessary information to comply with all relevant Provincial, State, and Federal safety standards and will reduce potential issues in the event of an accident. It is crucial that these documents be stored and readily available when required.

How do Systems Inspections differ from Design Reviews?

It is essential to have Active Fall Protection Systems inspected, evaluated, and certified based on the guidelines and requirements set forth by OSHA and ANSI. This ensures that the systems operate as intended, satisfy operational requirements, and comply with the latest engineering standards, practices, and federal codes. The five-year design review is conducted by a qualified person who reviews the system engineering specifications keeps the fall protection system up-to-date with the latest Engineering Standards and Practices. These inspections go beyond form & function and will typically include at least these things…

  • Visual and Physical Inspection of system(s) to ensure good working order and compliance
  • Consultation with competent persons and authorized users of the system
  • Evaluation of any changes to risks, hazards, or tasks since original installation
  • Thorough review of original design by a Qualified Professional Engineer

According to ANSI Z.359.6-2016 9.2 in addition to the required annual inspections, the designs of and inspection requirements for the fall protections systems shall be thoroughly reviewed by the original designer or other similarly qualified professional engineer, or a qualified person under the supervision of a professional engineer at a frequency not to exceed five (5) years. The process shall include a review of the original documents prepared for the system and their continued applicability. As a minimum, the following criteria shall also be considered and the result of the certification should result in a report or set of documents recertifying the system:

  • changes in the hazards and tasks that are addressed by the active fall protection systems
  • changes in regulations, standards or other factors affecting the active fall protection system
  • feedback from a representative sample of the competent persons and authorized persons of the fall protection system

Connect with a Professional

Maximizing the utility of fall protection systems requires expert design and installation, along with proper training of maintenance personnel after implementation. More complex or unique situations start with a thorough analysis and definition of the issues. Bringing all fall protection requirements both large and small under a single source like Safeguard Industries means having one manager with total accountability to guide your project every step of the way and ensure a strong and stable safety culture.

For more information or to book your inspection, connect with a Safeguard Industries fall protection specialist today.

Providing Fall Protection for International Brands