Climbing Ropes and Harnesses: Are You Performing Daily Safety Checks
One task in the arborist industry that is not performed as often as it should be is the safety inspection of climbing ropes and saddles. Since your life depends on your safety gear they must be free from excessive wear, tears, and damage that could lead to catastrophic equipment failure. Daily inspection of these items is not only prudent but required under ANSI standards.
The following excerpt is taken from the The ANSI Safety Requirements for Arboricultural
Operations -(ANSI Z133.1)
“Chapter 8: Work Procedures
8.1 Ropes and Arborist Climbing Equipment
8.1.4 – “Arborists shall inspect climbing lines, work lines, lanyards, and other
climbing equipment for damage, cuts, abrasion, and/or deterioration before each
use and shall remove them from service if signs of excessive wear or damage are
8.1.5 – Arborist saddles and lanyards used for work positioning shall be identified
by the manufacturer as suitable for tree climbing.
8.1.6 – Arborist saddles and lanyards used for work positioning shall not be altered
in a manner that would compromise the integrity of the equipment.”
At American Arborist Supplies all of our saddles, ropes, and other climbing
equipment meet all of the applicable ANSI safety standards. As a general rule
of thumb, climbing saddles and ropes that receive everyday use should be replaced
at the very minimum every 5 years even if they are not showing any obvious signs
of wear. The constant use of these items (stretching, varying weight loads, abrasion
against carabiners and other objects, etc.) may cause internal damage to them that
is not visible to the naked eye.
While conducting a daily safety inspection of your equipment may take a few extra
minutes, think of your loved ones. They will thank you for taking the time to care.