Today is the day Harry Houdini, the magician, died. So what in the blue hell does this have to do with fall protection? Well, I came across some recent OSHA data about lanyard damage that I wanted to pass along... Still not getting it? I'd like to give you some pointers on what to look for when your fall protection lanyard has the ILLUSION of passing inspection.
1. Heat Damage - In excessive heat, nylon will become brittle and will break when it's pushed together. You should be able to detect the shriveled brown appearance. Needless to say, you shouldn't be using these things in temperatures above 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Chemical Damage - If you've got a lanyard with chemical damage it will appear brownish in color and cracks will appear when you bend it together. You will lose elasticity in the webbing.
3. UV Damage - A pointer... Do not store your lanyards or harnesses in direct sunlight. UV rays can reduce the strength of your equipment. You can get around this by putting SPF 50 sunblock on your equipment... I'm kidding. DO NOT do that.
4. Molten Metal or Flame Damage - The strands of your webbing may be fused together. Keep an eye out for hard, shiny spots or a hard and brittle feel.
5. Paint and Solvent Damage - The big issue with paint is that it penetrates the fibers of your webbing and then dries. This restricts the movement of the fibers, which is bad. Solvents, on the other hand, will often appear as chemical damage.
There you have it. Make sure you keep an eye out with these tricks and make sure to inspect your costume every day before work. Happy Halloween guys.