Fall Protection Equipment: Maintenance and Care

Fall Protection Equipment: Maintenance and Care


Unfortunately, there’s no way around dirt. You probably deal with a whole lot of dust, industrial solvents, built-up salt from sweat, and oils on the job, and these can have a direct impact on the longevity of your fall protection equipment.

Basic maintenance and care of your equipment can help extend the durable life of the product and will contribute toward the performance of its crucial safety function. We suggest following the manufacturer's cleaning instructions for the equipment.

How do I clean my fall protection equipment?

  • Wipe off all surface dirt with a sponge dampened in plain water. Rinse the sponge and squeeze it dry. Dip the sponge in a mild solution of water and commercial soap or detergent. Work up a thick lather with a vigorous back and forth motion.
  • Rinse the webbing in clean water.
  • Wipe the belt dry with a clean cloth. Hang freely to dry.
  • Dry the belt and other equipment away from direct heat, and out of long periods of sunlight.
  • Store in a clean, dry area, free of fumes, sunlight, corrosive materials, sharp edges, or vibration and in such a way that it does not warp or distort the belt.

Source: Body Belts, Harnesses, and Lanyards, CCOHS.

Need a deeper cleaning? Only use cleaning solutions that are non-corrosive or non-abrasive.

Put your equipment in a mesh laundry bag to prevent snags and abrasion. In a clean bucket or sink, add water and a little bit of your solution so it is not too soapy to the touch. Too much soap or solution will make your equipment feel tacky or uncomfortable to wear.

Once you cleaned the equipment in your clean bucket or sink, remove it from the mesh bag and hang it to air dry. Remember to let it air dry away from steam, direct sunlight, and excessive heat. Make sure it hangs freely without any folds. When it is fully dry, make sure you inspect your PPE.

Can I machine wash my harness?

No. Machine washing can reduce the longevity of your equipment, can soften the webbing, or cause fading.

The don’ts of cleaning your fall protection equipment

  • Do not soak your PPE as that can damage some materials.
  • Never machine dry your PPE or store it wet.
  • Never use bleach or an acid solvent on your PPE since these can cause serious damage.

Do you have any questions about your fall protection equipment? Contact one of our experts!

Fall Protection Equipment Storage

Do you leave your harness or equipment in your car? If your current storage system involves leaving it overnight to freeze and thaw in the morning, if it is exposed to the harsh sunshine rays, or if it’s subjected to cuts from other tools, then there’s a good chance it won’t be able to fulfill its number one task: protect you.

When not in use, your fall protection equipment needs to be kept in a cool, dry, and clean place, ideally out of direct sunlight. Make sure to avoid any areas where heat, light, oil, moistures, vapors, or chemicals are present. Heat, cold, and constant exposure to sunlight may lead to invisible damage.

Harnesses should be hung up to avoid any physical damage such as sharp objects slicing them. Damaged equipment or in need of maintenance should not be stored in the same area as functional equipment.