3M Fall Protection Safety Tip

Fall Protection Safety Tip: Can I Mark or Label My Certified Fall Arrest Product?

Do you want to mark your fall protection product so you can identify it on a job site? Workers often want to specify Information such as company name and inspection status on fall protection products to help ensure for proper identification. Marking and identifying various fall protection products made of webbing (i.e., belts, harnesses, lanyards, anchorage straps, etc.) is appropriate as long as acceptable materials or processes are used.

What Guidelines Should Be Followed When Marking and Labeling Fall Protection Products?

So, yes while you can mark or label your fall protection gear, here are some guidelines that should be observed, and the special conditions that should be noted:

1. Inspection status/log labels applied to the product at the time of manufacture or inspection can be used to record inspection dates.

2. Specific punches can be used on the inspection log label to represent the month the inspection was performed. PUNCHES ARE ALLOWED FOR LABELS ONLY.  Do not punch holes into webbing or other structural materials as it will jeopardize harness strength.

3. Separate identification tags/labels can be applied to the product. A location that will not interfere with the product’s performance should be selected (i.e., away from snap hooks, connecting rings, buckles, etc.).

4. The method of attaching separate identification tags should not affect the strength of the web. Riveting, punching holes, or gluing the separate label to the web is not recommended in the field. Plastic or zip tie type fasteners should be used. The fastener can be passed through or around a web loop (opening) for attachment.

5. Some solvents used in inks and other marking products can cause loss of strength in webbing, especially at elevated temperatures and high concentrations. Marking directly on the web can be performed with permanent type markers. Permanent markers that are waterproof/water-resistant and quick-drying (e.g., Avery® Dennison Marks-A-Lot®, Sanford Sharpie® permanent marker) should be used. Markers approved for use on launderable items are also approved.

6. Paint and/or paint pens should not be used to mark directly on the web. Paint can penetrate the web fibers, then dry and cause the fibers to break when flexed.

7. All applicable user instruction manuals for the products should be reviewed and followed.

8. Employee training should be conducted at regular intervals to help assure a safe working environment.

Always refer to the 3M User Instructions provided with your specific fall protection product for additional information. You should also not use any fall protection equipment that fails pre-use or other scheduled inspections, or if you have concerns about the use or suitability of the equipment for your application. Contact our health and safety specialists with any questions about fall protection personal protective equipment (PPE) and please reference this technical bulletin for these guidelines about how to mark your fall protection gear.