Fall Protection - Safety Harness - Expiration Date - Important!
Full-body safety harnesses are a highly effective and reliable piece of any fall protection plan but, while you may frequently inspect and maintain your safety harness, it will only be safe to use for a matter of years — five years according to the majority of manufacturers.
(Note: These recommendations do not apply to safety harnesses that have visual damage or have been exposed to chemicals, abnormal heat, or excessive ultraviolet light. A damaged harness can and will eventually fail.)
Although a well cared for or seldom used safety harness can last longer than five years, it is still recommended that you remove it from service at the five year mark. Not only may your safety harness be out of warranty, but you have no way of knowing that the internal structure of your safety harness is sound — even if it’s passed regular inspection and shows no outward signs of damage. When it comes to personal fall protection, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
To ensure that your safety harness makes it to its expiration date, store your harness at room temperature away from all chemicals, moisture, ultraviolet light, and anything that may cause damage when not in use; regularly inspect your harness and perform any maintenance that may be required, even if you think your harness is good enough to use.
After your full-body safety harness has reached the end of its life expectancy, remove it from service and dispose of it in such a manner that it can’t be mistakenly used in the future. Keep your equipment in good shape to keep your work site safe.