It’s not uncommon to be concerned with how long fall protection safety equipment can last as wear-and-tear progressively takes its toll. The problem, however, is that answers can vary. OSHA guidelines don’t include how long harnesses and related equipment like lanyards can be kept in service before you must replace them. Instead, the recommended longevity often depends on the manufacturer, so allow us to provide a guide to harness shelf life for the brands we offer.
French Creek has a general advisory that harnesses should be replaced five years from the date of first use. This is with the assumption that your harness is not compromised in any way. If you find that a harness has been damaged or has failed inspection, then you should disregard the five-year rule and get your harness replaced immediately. While OSHA does not have any guidelines regarding the lifespan of a harness, they require harnesses to meet certain standards. If your harness can no longer pass inspection, it must be immediately withdrawn from service and marked as unusable or destroyed.
DBI-Sala doesn’t have a general rule that recommends you replace your harness based on age. Instead, DBI-Sala's policy is entirely dependent on the condition of the harness rather than the age. Instead, their user manuals include details specific to each type of harness that should be used in addition to the inspection guidelines of OSHA. As long as OSHA’s requirements are fulfilled and the inspection does not reveal any damage, wear, or other compromises that would affect the harness’s performance, your DBI-Sala harness is still approved for continued service.
With this guide to harness shelf life, you’ll be able to keep an eye on the condition of your harnesses and recognize any serious damage that would compromise them. While these are the two brands we carry, other brands may have varying advisements that you should consult when using their products.