How to protect, clean and store height safety gear
LINQ Height Safety Gear has released a free Harness and Lanyard Guide featuring equipment inspection and maintenance information.
LINQ Height Safety Gear national category manager Paul Bozkurt says it’s important to properly clean harnesses and other height safety gear to minimise odour build-up, increase service life and remove any potentially degrading materials.
He says the mistake a lot of people make is soaking a harness or using strong chemicals, such as bleach, during cleaning.
“Gentle dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent mixed with warm water is best. Wipe it down with a sponge, dry it off and hang it up to dry.”
Avoid a Smelly Harness
The most noticeable benefit to users is a cleaner, odour-free harness that will be serviceable longer. If harnesses are exposed to grease, oil and dirt then they are often decommissioned during inspections as they are seen as too dirty. The same applies to harnesses that get wet, either from rain, sweat or other moisture exposure.
“The main issue with a harness that is kept wet is the resulting smell. When harnesses start to smell they are generally discarded. This is the same for harnesses that absorb sweat in hot and humid environments,” says Paul.
“Where a single harness is being used by multiple workers, this can also pose a hygiene problem with cross contamination.”
Harnesses should always be inspected before use and must be inspected by a height safety equipment inspector every six months or as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Storing height safety gear
Harnesses and other height safety gear are often incorrectly stored, which can reduce their serviceability and potentially their ability to save lives in the event of a fall.
Height safety gear must be hung in a clean, dry, well-ventilated area free from chemicals, high temperatures, sunlight and other forms of UV when not in use. This gear should also be stored in a location where others will not use it and it will not be crushed or damaged by sharp objects. Additionally, some harnesses and other webbing products should be dry before they are stored.
“Because harnesses are often stored undercover and out of the sun, this can hinder them from drying out completely,” says Paul.
When in transit between jobs, Paul recommends storing harnesses and other height safety gear in a quality storage bag.
Featuring a moisture-resistant technology, LINQ harnesses do not absorb moisture so they can be stored immediately.
“The webbing on all LINQ harnesses – except the H101 Essential Harness – is dipped twice in a water resistant solution called ‘Liqui-Pel’, giving the harness an invisible protective barrier,” says Paul.
“The Liqui-Pel coating means the harness will clean more easily and dry more quickly. Moisture is not absorbed by harnesses treated with Liqui-Pel. It will simply bead off.”
For more information on height safety equipment, download LINQ’s free Harness and Lanyard Guide here.