Sometimes during the manufacturing or assembly of height safety equipment mistakes can be made. This is a rare occurrence but over the years our inspectors have inspected some that could have killed or severely hurt the user.
A customer who wanted their equipment inspected, tagged and added to their online height safety equipment register presented the item in the image below to Height Dynamics.
At first glance the equipment does not seem unusual. A rope and rope grab, some of the items found in a standard roof safety kit.
It may not be immediately obvious but, when one of our compliance team performed an inspection and function test on the item it was discovered that the rope grab has been threaded on the rope incorrectly. In fact, it was installed on the rope upside down. In the event of a fall the device would not have grabbed the rope as designed but slid down the rope. A fall onto this device would have been catastrophic. Let’s hope that it had not been used to protect someone from a fall from height.
The equipment was in new condition. As it was factory sewn at each end we can assume that this device was incorrectly installed during manufacture. A simple function test on this device would have identified this fault.
Some steps that can be taken to ensure that equipment like this is not used are.
- Before you put your equipment into service, have it inspected by a competent person.
- Familiarise yourself in the operation of the equipment before use.
- Conduct an operator inspection including a function test before and during each use.
- Supervise all work at height by a person experienced in harness-based work.
If you have any doubt about the safety of the equipment you are using to safeguard you when working at height, Height Dynamics compliance team will inspect it for you.