A fall arrest harness is your first line of defense against falls if your job involves working at heights. Whether you use ladders, scaffolds, spider lifts, steel towers, or work on any elevated surface, there is always a chance you could fall and injure yourself.
Fortunately, using the correct work safety harness for fall arrest eliminates this risk and gives you the peace of mind to focus on the task at hand. But how does one select the fall protection harness that best suits your work environment? Below, we will talk about different harnesses, components of the harness and show you how to pick one that fits.
Types of Fall Protection Harnesses
These systems give the worker freedom of movement. They allow the user to sit back in their harness and accomplish a task with both hands and from a fixed position. They are deployed in a work situation where a full personal fall arrest system isn’t necessary.
This type of harness is designed for workers operating in confined spaces such as tunnels, tanks, and other crawl spaces. They allow the user to be lowered into or lifted out of a confined work area safely and efficiently. A retrieval line is attached to the harness on the entrant’s back between the shoulder blades.
These safety harness systems come with built-in seat support for the user, leaving both hands free to carry out tasks. They eliminate the risk of falling while also giving the worker some comfort and flexibility to move around a dangerous work environment. They are commonly used by painters, window washers, and tower maintenance crews.
Things to consider when choosing a fall arrest harness
The webbing you pick determines how long your harness will serve you. It needs to be strong enough to endure rough use and exposure to the elements. You can now find heat, water, and paint-resistant webbings.
You don’t want the straps of your harness to compress your body parts tightly. That’s why choosing a properly cushioned harness is essential. The padding improves your comfort, helps you work longer, and even adds a layer of protection during a fall.
Whether you use your harness for a couple of minutes or for hours, its straps need to be quickly adjustable around the legs, chest, waist, and torso. This feature enhances the safety and comfort of the user.
If you use your harness for prolonged climbs, its weight will definitely be a factor. A lightweight harness will help you climb more comfortably, minimize fatigue, and allow you to work more comfortably.
Deciding on the specific features to go for is usually the most confusing part for workers trying to shop for a harness. Some popular features include; pelvic support, which protects your pelvic area and better distributes forces during a fall, and trauma straps, which allow you to stand up when suspended to relieve pressure on the body caused by the harness. An option like breathable linings will keep you dry and comfortable when you’re suspended for long periods.
These are the other components that add an extra layer of protection to the safety harness user. One such as the impact indicator warns the worker when the harness is no longer safe to wear.
If your job involves working at height, you need to don the correct fall protection harness. It will keep you out of harm’s way and reduce the impact in case of a fall. Safety should always come first when you work at heights, so choose your fall arrest harness accordingly.