DGUV Principle 312-906 (formerly BGG 906) deals with the “Selection, training and certification of specialists for personal fall protection equipment”. This principle is the foundation for qualifying individuals so that they can train specialists who are then allowed to carry out annual personal fall protection equipment (PPE) inspections. The legislator and the cooperatives have deemed such regular inspections mandatory in order to ensure that PPE equipment is used safely and remains in perfect condition - even over longer periods of time. This principle deals with the training objectives as well as the theoretical and practical training and qualification of PPE specialists.
In the preface, it is explicitly pointed out that the high demands placed on personal fall arrest equipment also apply to the regular inspection of this equipment. The primary task of such equipment is to protect individuals from mortal danger which is why PPE inspections may only be carried out by a specialist who has received “sound and comprehensive training” to this effect. Successfully completing a course and passing the final practical and theoretical examinations of the knowledge acquired serves as respective proof of proficiency. The course participants are provided with a certificate confirming this proficiency. ABS Safety also offers a two-day training course for training specialists.
A PPE specialist is qualified to inspect PPE equipment. He/she recognises when safety harnesses, lanyards, self-retracting lifelines or other accessories are faulty or showing signs of wear. The inspections include examining the individual components, whereby any open seams or overly-used carabiner hooks are spotted. Once the PPE has passed its inspection, the specialist can label the equipment with a special seal of approval showing that the equipment is in good working order. It also includes the next inspection date. This allows users to convince themselves prior to usage that the equipment can still be used and that it is regularly inspected. However, this does not release users from their duty to subject their equipment to an individual visual check each time they commence work.