This year, GBCA is participating in OSHA’s Focus Four Campaign, providing resources to avoid incidents involving OSHA’s Focus Four hazards. This week’s toolbox talk is about fall protection equipment inspections. Scroll down to read it. Click below to download it as a printable Toolbox Talk.



Fall Protection Equipment Inspections

Ask the following questions and give time for answers:

  • What are the hazards?
    • Falls from heights due to damaged personal fall arrest systems
  • What are the results?
    • Broken bones, internal damage, death.


Among the fatal falls in construction investigated by the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health‘s Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program, between 2004 and 2014, 58.5% of the decedents had no PFAS present; 14.6% had PFAS, but did not use; and another 7.3% used PFAS, but the PFAS failed.

How do we prevent these results?

Inspect your personal fall arrest system prior to use. On a regular basis not to exceed one year (or more frequently if required by manufacturer’s instructions) by a Competent Person to verify that the equipment is safe for use. Some manufacturers recommend every 6 months. Your life depends on it.

Take damaged equipment out of service: If there have been alternation; if there is an absence of parts, if there is evidence of defects, damage to or improper function of mechanical devices and connectors. Also look for any other condition that calls to question the suitability of the equipment for its intended purpose.

Know what to look for: fraying, un-splicing, kinking, knotting, roping, broken or pulled stitches, excessive elongation, chemical exposure, excessive soiling, abrasions, alterations, needed or excessive lubrication, excessive aging, excessive wear.

Personal Fall Arrest Systems are an important element of fall protection; yet the primary goal on construction sites should be to eliminate fall hazards altogether.