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How to Know When to Replace Your PPE Gear

October 18, 2010 Fall Protection
ANSI, Capital Safety, OSHA, Self Retracting Lifeline

When using fall protection, even if you have the appropriate protection for your setup, it is important to know when to replace your gear. I recently got a question asking just that:

I recently noticed that this hook does not look like the others. There is a red band on top of the hook and something appears to be missing in the same area. I have attached photos of the hook. Can you please look at the photos and tell me if something looks wrong? Is this just an older style hook or should we replace it?

The arrow is pointing to the red indicator. This hook has been impacted.

The arrow is pointing to the red indicator. This hook has been impacted.

My initial reaction was that the hook looked pretty well used. Upon looking closer, I can tell that the exposed red is actually the red indicator which means it has been impacted.

Some hooks have a brass ferrule which breaks off when impacted. Some hooks have a pin which breaks upon impact and allows the body of the hook to drop down exposing the red band. In any event, the unit needs to be taken out of service and repaired. If it is beyond repair, it needs to be discarded.

In this case, the hook needed to be replaced. Since this hook was at the end of an SRL, I recommended the unit be replaced with the Rebel AD120A 20 foot web SRL by Protecta.

As always, it is important to have the right kind of fall protection for you job. But having the right fall protection can only get you so far. It all needs to be in good working order and should be checked regularly. Faulty gear should be discarded so that it doesn’t accidentally end up back in use.