The following information could be useful to ensure proper inspection, use, and care of personal fall arrest systems:

1. Inspect your equipment before each use

______ Carefully inspect the webbing and other parts of the belt or harness. These items should be free of cuts and significant wear.

______ Check the lanyard. It should also be free of cuts and abrasions. Look for signs that the shock absorber is distorted indicating that it has been used or exposed to some heavy loading.

______ Check all metal hardware for bent, broken or cracked parts.

______ Inspect clasp hooks to ensure they operate freely. As of January 1, 1998, all clasp hooks are required to be of the double action type requiring two actions to open them. This design change was made to prevent inadvertent separation.

2. Don the harness or belt (safety belts are not authorized by OSHA as of January 1, 1998) and ensure it is adjusted properly.

______ Safety belt, if used, must be securely fastened around the waist with the D-ring in the middle of the back.

______ Safety harness fit snugly around the chest and leg areas. Use care in selecting the harness and fitting it. Women should use a harness with an "X" configuration in the front and men should ensure the leg/buttock straps are secured so they will not slip if a sudden force is applied. Both of these last two items may help prevent painful injuries to gender specific body parts.

______ Safety harness D-ring should normally be in the middle of the back where it can easily be reached to hook and unhook the lanyard without performing a contortionist act which could cause a fall.

______ Ensure anchorage is attached to a structure with sufficient strength to support at least 5000 pounds for each personal anchoring to it.

3. Take care of your equipment when you finish using it.

______ Wash equipment frequently in mild detergent and water. Avoid harsh chemicals.

______ Allow to air-dry and store in a location to avoid environmental extremes.

______ Lubricate snap hooks with a light oil after cleaning.

______ Follow all manufacturers' recommendations.

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