How safety harnesses work

Apr 4, 2023

A false sense of security can be fatal. Someone believing a piece of equipment protects them may unknowingly take more risks than someone with no protection at all. Therefore, safety harnesses must fit properly and be used effectively. Safety harnesses are intended to protect you in the event of a fall and are not for prolonged suspension.

Safety harness training

Employees must be adequately trained to use a safety harness. If a person has never worn a safety harness before or has not been prepared how to use it, one may not always ask for assistance to safely put it on, increasing the risk of getting it completely wrong and being dangerously exposed. 

Safety harnesses offer prevention and arrest fall protection. In this case, prevention refers to travel restraints where harnesses attached to lanyards prevent employees from reaching a fall risk edge. 

The first step is to inspect the harness. Regardless of if you ever fall, this piece of equipment can save your life every time you put it on. Examine each strap, buckle, plastic fitting, and grommet for signs of wear. Next, check the tag to see when a competent person from your company last inspected it. If you believe the harness is fit for use, it is time to put it on.

The simplest way to orient the safety harness is to grab the D-ring in the middle of its back and let it hang. This will help you determine the location of the shoulder straps, chest straps, and leg straps. Step into the leg straps and wrap them around your shoulders. Attach the chest strap. At this stage, ask a second person to inspect the harness to ensure the straps aren’t twisted.

Now the safety harness is on, you need to adjust it to fit correctly. Loose straps could result in you slipping out of the harness, while too-tight straps may restrict circulation. It is critical that all adjustments are made correctly. To ensure the leg straps are correctly adjusted, you should be able to slide an open hand between the belt and your leg, but not a closed fist. Tuck the ends of the straps into the provided fasteners once all adjustments are made.

Right way up

The design of a full-body safety harness keeps you upright in a fall. This allows a deceleration device to be correctly deployed and keeps the spine vertical, ensuring it can effectively absorb the compressive forces of a fall. It is also the best position for rescuing or lowering a worker to a safe location. 

Gender matters

Most harnesses on the market were not created with women in mind. While a standard safety harness will suffice, there are women-specific harnesses that keep shoulder straps to the side of the chest, support the hip and pelvic area differently, and reduce stress on the lower back. Investigate the products on the market and choose the harnesses best suited to you or your workforce.

Contact Procon for details

Procon understands the importance of safety in the workplace. Therefore, we offer a wide range of high-quality safety harnesses that meet the needs of workers. Contact our team today for more information about our harnesses. Alternatively, please browse our website to find the right solution for your needs.

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