Sapsis Rigging Answers Questions About Safely Cleaning Fall Arrest Harnesses

May 27, 2020

From the The Sapsis Rigging Safety Folks in their latest issue of netHEADS!

We have recently received several inquiries regarding the use of disinfectants, chemicals, and alcohol solution on Proplus™ fall arrest harnesses.

Here’s what you need to know:

After doing some research, we have found that there has not been any data collected on the long-term effects of using cleaning chemicals or disinfecting agents on webbing/fibers, protective coatings that are used in ProPlus™ fall arrest harnesses. We are concerned that there can possibly be a of loss of strength, abrasion resistance, and resistance to environmental conditions if chemical or disinfecting agents are used. We’ve also been asked about steam cleaning, UV light, and other similar methods. Each of these treatments presents its own problems that can alter the equipment’s characteristics and, as noted above, there is no data to provide guidance.

It is Sapsis Rigging’s recommendation that harness users continue with the established protocol for cleaning their equipment. The only cleaning products recommended are water and a diluted solution of hand soap or mild dish soap. Do not use bleach, cleaning chemicals, or disinfectants. Do not use aggressive cleaning tools or methods. (Do not, for example, use a washing machine. It may damage the equipment and will most certainly damage the washing machine.) A soft sponge or rag may be used lightly to rub the equipment.

After cleaning, the harness should be thoroughly rinsed. Run clean water over the harness to remove any foreign substances and residual soap. Do NOT use a pressure sprayer of any type.

Harnesses should be dried by hanging in a cool, dry, shaded area with adequate ventilation. Avoid direct sunlight. Following these procedures is consistent with long standing practices in the care and maintenance of these types of equipment.  As always, it is the responsibility of the user for proper inspection, care and use of the equipment.

The advice provided is for ProPlus™ harnesses and related products. While we believe this advice holds true for most, if not all harnesses on the market, please confirm with the harness or safety device manufacturer before attempted to clean the harness or device.

Learn more from Sapsis Rigging, Inc., here.