Occupational Protective Equipment (OPE) is vital to workplace safety, but it’s only effective when it’s kept in good condition and regularly inspected for wear and damage. Below you’ll find a few helpful tips for keeping your Klein® lineman’s body belt and harness well maintained and safe.
Inspecting Lineman’s Belts for Damage
- No shortcuts allowed! Be sure that your equipment inspections are thorough, and that you follow all guidelines and safety procedures. Saving time is not worth the risk of injury.
- Check the belt strap’s entire length, including stitching and webbing. Starting on the billet (or tongue) end, look for telltale signs of excessive wear that can come from repetitive buckling and unbuckling. Keep an eye out for stretched or torn tongue-buckle holes. Inspect the belt’s stitching for broken or cut threads, as well as stitches that have become pulled. Check all nylon webbing for surface tufts, which indicate broken strands.
- All D-rings need to be checked for flaws that can cause them to weaken, like chemical corrosion (which can be identified by pitting) and general shape distortion. And don’t forget to inspect D-ring attachment points for damaged fibers or other signs of excessive wear and tear.
- After inspecting the tongue buckle for cracks, distortion, and sharp metal edges, ensure that the tongue overlaps the frame and is able to move freely. Make sure that rollers aren’t distorted, and can roll around easily.
- Take a close look at all hardware attachment points. For attachment points that are stitched, make sure that none of the stitching has been burned, pulled, cut or otherwise broken. If attachments are riveted on, check that all rivets are tight and free from pitting (pitting is a sign that chemical corrosion has taken place).
- Don’t take any chances! Whether your OPE is damaged, malfunctioning, or just showing signs of excessive wear, take the safe route: replace it. When replacing a lineman’s belt or any other piece of Occupational Protection Equipment, don’t just discard it… destroy it! By destroying faulty OPE equipment, you ensure that no one else will reuse it and unknowingly risk injuring themselves.
- OSHA requires all employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act to properly inspect and maintain all job-related tools and equipment used by employees, regardless of whether the tools and equipment are owned by the employees or the company. Inspect protective equipment before each use; if damage is found, take the equipment out of service immediately.
Tips for General Maintenance
- Ensure that protective equipment receives regular care by keeping a written log of all inspection and maintenance dates.
- Check the equipment manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning recommendations. Nylon components can usually be washed in warm water with a mild detergent. Take care to avoid turpentine, paint thinner, degreasers, and gasoline; exposure to these solvents and other harsh chemicals can cause the materials in protective equipment to break down and weaken.
- After cleaning, inspect all snap hooks. They should operate properly and close securely. If needed, lubricate the snap hooks with light motor oil or an all-purpose lubricant spray.
- Prolong the life of leather components by treating them with saddle soap, neat’s-foot oil or a similar leather conditioner. After conditioning, let the leather sit at room temperature, allowing it to dry slowly.
Please keep in mind that these are only general guidelines and tips. For the complete Occupational Safety Equipment requirements and other workplace safety information, visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website at www.osha.gov.
When inspecting and maintaining Klein® lineman’s belts or any other personal protective equipment, always consult the manufacturer for complete and specific product information. Because we are unable to control or ensure proper product use, inspection, maintenance or repair of any product, CableOrganizer.com is not liable for the misuse of any product, or for any resulting injury, damage, or product malfunction.