To counter the causes of degradation the British Standard states that components should be examined "At Least" every 12 months, but it is recommended that the inspection is more frequent. HSE concluded that there is no well defined boundary for useable life, and frequent inspection is therefore a primary requirement in order to ensure safe use. The duty holder should establish a regime for inspection. The detailed inspection should be carried out by an independent body. Pre Use Checks, carried out by the user, before every occasion of use. Users must be competent to do this. Detailed inspections, more formal, in-depth inspections carried out at minimal intervals, but at least every six months. The results must be recorded. Interim Inspections, more frequent than detailed inspections, for equipment used in more arduous conditions.
2. How long can webbing or rope based products be kept in service?
Depends on the manufacturer but the rule of thumb is 5 years from date of first issue
3. When should I remove an item of PPE from service?
Abrasion, cuts to webbing, rope or stitching, chemical attack, heat or friction damage, damaged fittings or connectors. UV Degradation (Fading), contamination with dirt/grit. Defective items should be destroyed and replaced, as should any item which has arrested a fall.