Books: Technical Safety Handbooks

ISBN 978-0-9560784-1-4 FAQ   Contents

Inspecting Personal Fall Protection Equipment

UVSAR Inspecting Personal Fall Protection Equipment ISBN 978-0-9560784-1-4

This essential reference is the first complete guide to inspecting all forms of industrial and sporting PFPE, covering the legal and record-keeping requirements for UK workplaces, plus the practical process of inspection and maintenance, combining detailed technical guidance with an easy-to-read style.

If you are working at height or in confined spaces as part of a job, as a member of a rescue team, or enjoy extreme sports as a climber, caver, canyoner or bungee jumper, then your life depends on your safety equipment. Being able to inspect and maintain your gear in a safe working condition is an essential skill, and in a workplace is required by law. Many times the standards, laws, guidance and advice you receive can be confusing, even to expert users. This book explains it all.

  • 160 full-color pages with over 200 photos and diagrams of good and bad gear.
  • Sample reports, detailed checklists and explanations of the science behind equipment failure.
  • Suitable for all types of workplace and sporting users.
  • RRP £29.95 (paperback)

Personal fall protection equipment comes in a huge range of styles, from a coil of rope to the latest complex designs of descender or rescue system. Inspecting and maintaining each item requires a detailed knowledge of standards, design specifications, corrosion, wear and chemical damage. The book is packed with full-colour photos and cutting-edge computer graphics, which chapters on each type of device explaining clearly what standards they should meet, how they should operate, and how they can fail. The information and techniques can be applied to any brand of equipment, including gear used for sport, in outdoor activity centres or by clubs and teams as well as that used in a workplace.

Sample pages (PDF)

You can buy this book and view sample pages (in PDF) by clicking the buttons above.

You can order copies from all the leading bookstores by quoting the ISBN number.

Trade customers should place orders via their normal distributor.


Part 1 : Systems of Inspection

  • UK laws and equipment classes
  • Product standards
  • Choosing inspectors
  • Record-keeping
  • Marking equipment

General principles

  • Inspection of metals, plastics, textiles and rubber
  • Repair, disposal and quarantine
  • Example system of inspection

Part 2: Equipment in detail

  • Connectors
  • Pulleys
  • Wire rope and ladders
  • Rope access tools
  • Fall arrest devices
  • Webbing and rope
  • Harnesses and belts
  • Lanyards and polestraps
  • Retractable fall arresters
  • Anchors and eyebolts
  • Helmets
  • Mountaineering equipment


What standards and equipment does the book refer to?
We avoid brand-specific naming as much as possible, and refer to equipment via EN standards and generic design features. The legal aspects of work at height refer to the UK (Work at Height Regulations, PUWER and LOLER, etc.) and so are in general also appropriate for other EU Member States. The techniques and protocols described in the book for inspecting each item are universally-applicable.
Does the book make me into a 'competent person'?
In law, to be 'competent' means you have the necessary skills and experience, both theoretical and practical, to carry out inspections of the items placed before you. This book provides a complete reference to these skills, but of course cannot provide 'experience' of the specific brands and models you are inspecting. Only you can decide if you are indeed competent to inspect a particular item, but there is no legal requirement in the UK to be certified or to hold any academic qualification. If you are familiar with the item, have access to the instructions, and follow the guidance in this book carefully, there is no reason why you could not safely and legally perform inspections of PFPE in a workplace. Some installed systems (fall arrest anchors, wire and rail systems, etc.) require inspectors to be trained, as the process involves functional tests and replacement of spare parts - these types of product are not covered by this book, but the principles of damage (corrosion, stress, etc.) are the same, so the book provides a valuable background reference.
Do you provide the entire book as a download?
No. The book contains Crown copyright material subject to reproduction licenses which do not extend to ebook versions.
We aren't in the UK - is the book still suitable for us?
Although the first section of the book is aimed at complying with UK workplace legislation, the main body of the text covering the actual inspection process applies to any item, and so is equally valid in any country using CE and EN standards schemes. The book is not intended for markets following the OSHA/NFPA frameworks (USA, Canada, etc.), where equipment and techniques are significantly different. We are hoping to publish a second version of the book for these markets, subject to customer demand.
I'm a sport user / club member not a workplace inspector. Is the book still suitable?
Very much so - as an individual, personal user you can ignore the first couple of pages on workplace laws, but 90% of the book is entirely relevant to sport climbers, cavers, mountaineers, etc. - anyone who uses harnesses and ropes. As a member of a club, you will often find it's easier (and safer for your members) to follow the "workplace" style of inspections even though you don't have to. Some insurance companies will insist on it.
Can I copy/extract parts of the book for training/newsletters/etc.?
With permission, yes. Contact us using the button below, and describe what parts you wish to use and how they'll be used, and we will normally be happy to provide permission. Without it, you will be breaking copyright law. We can also license electronic copies of some of the graphics for use in presentations, subject to a small fee.
Can I use/sell copies as part of a training course?
Yes - indeed many training companies already do, and the book's content has been specifically designed to complement a face-to-face training course using any brand of equipment. If you are in need of bulk purchases, contact us for info on discounted pricing.
Can I copy the blank form templates for use in my company?
Yes, but you'll find it easier to download those pages from the link above, as a free PDF. You can make as many copies of those forms as you want, but you cannot re-sell the templates.

If you have any other questions, please contact us and we'll be happy to help!