Using Fall Protection Equipment From Different Manufacturers
Fall protection equipment includes lanyards, anchors, anchor points, safety harnesses, ropes, and more. For every category, there is an innumerable amount of manufacturers for each product. You may find that one manufacturer has an anchor for far less than the manufacturer that you use for other fall protection equipment, but we advise that you don’t mix and match equipment. If you need guidance on fall protection equipment, visit OSHA’s website or contact one of our knowledgeable attorneys on an OSHA fall protection plan.
Can I Use Different Manufacturer’s Fall Protection Equipment Together?
Purchasing an entire system from one vendor will allow you to ensure that lanyards, connectors, lifelines, deceleration devices, and harnesses are all compatible. It is in you and your employees best interest to stick with a single vendor. Although it is possible to assemble a complete system from multiple vendors, you should avoid this altogether, or at least, use extreme caution when doing so. Some items may fit parts of your fall protection equipment and not others. Using a single brand may be more costly but it will also be beneficial if legal issues arise.
It is the company’s responsibility to assure equipment quality and capability. Companies are not required to test their equipment to work universally with all products, in fact, they only test them with their current line of products.
Can You Be 100 Percent Sure?
In 29 CFR 1926.502(d)(6)(v), OSHA states that you can use products from different vendors as long as you are completely sure there is nothing in their design that would make them incompatible.
As a roofing contractor, you are responsible for the protection and safety of employees on your jobsite. It’s the employer’s responsibility to make sure the equipment used on the site is safe. If you’re still debating the purchase of fall protection equipment from different manufacturers, you must seek the professional opinion of an engineer prior to your purchase. All manufacturer instructions, warnings, and warranties must be closely inspected when the products sold are not a part of a complete system.
To compare your fall protection plan, OSHA has provided a sample plan here.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.