When referred to PPE inspection in the below document we are referring to tree climbing equipment used as PPE.
Why does your personal protective equipment (PPE) need to be inspected?
If you read user manuals of climbing gear most of them will state the product has a certain life span.
This life span will vary depending on the material its made of and the conditions its used in.
As far as I am aware of no manufacturer of PPE will give any guaranty on the used life span of their product.
Manufacturers will refer to a shelf life of the product but also will state that only regular checks are able to ensure that a product is still safe to use.
As an example I have referenced the tree motion harness user manual below:
“Life span can be up to 5 years as of date of production. The actual useful life depends solely on the condition of the product, which in turn is influenced by various factors.”
WorkSafe NZ is following the recommendation for inspection intervals as suggested in the AS/NZ 1891 Industrial Fall-Arrest Systems and Devices Standard.
The standard states that harnesses, lanyards and personal associated equipment, as well as ropes and slings, need to be inspected by a competent person every 6 months. The competent operator shall inspect their gear before and after each use.
PPE inspection should be part of your health and safety procedures and records of these inspections need to be kept on file.
There is no qualification for climbing equipment PPE inspectors in New Zealand. Companies and individuals that do PPE inspection need to develop sound inspection procedures for all equipment that they are inspecting.
This makes it very hard for individuals and companies to do their own PPE inspections.
When you trust your life on PPE you want to know that the guy inspecting it is not just relying on his memory.
Pro Climb has developed inspection procedures in collaboration with manufacturers and industry experts over the past years.
Every piece of equipment is checked using an equipment-specific check list. The condition of the equipment is recorded and can be shared electronically or in hardcopy.
We have implemented a quality control system to ensure that we stay informed of new inspection requirements and know of all manufacturer recalls.
We have limited our inspection to arborist climbing equipment to ensure that we are 100% familiar with the equipment and know exactly what we need to be looking for when inspecting it.