When you're working in an elevated environment, whether you're on a roof or an elevated platform, you need to prioritize your safety. It's essential that you take steps to limit your risk of falls and to protect yourself from injury in the event that you do slip. You might think that you'll have plenty of time to recover your balance before you fall, but the truth is, you may not be able to react quickly enough, or there might not be something in reach that you can grasp to keep from falling. Safety harnesses are one of the most important investments you can make in this situation. Here are some tips to help you choose the right safety harness for your needs.
The Advantage of a Full Body Harness
A full body harness is a great investment for anyone working in elevated environments. These harnesses have straps that slide over your shoulders, a strap that crosses your chest and straps that go around your legs. What makes these harnesses such a great investment is the fact that their design distributes your weight more evenly to help absorb some of the force if you slip off the work area. This may result in fewer injuries than a strap system that just fits around your legs, which concentrates your weight on the single strap sections around your thighs.
The Importance of the Right Size and Structure
In order for you to get the most possible benefit from a full-body harness, you need to choose both the right size for your body and the right structure. Look for a harness that has a D-ring in the center of the harness back. The straps should have reinforcement on each side of the D-ring as well, because that extra support may be necessary in the event of a fall.
Each harness manufacturer has a unique size chart, so make sure that you consult the size chart before you buy. If you're shopping for harnesses for a large group, consider investing in adjustable harnesses with locking straps. That way, you can size them to fit each person and then lock the straps in place.
If you're shopping just for you, though, custom-fit is best. Look for a harness that's sized either according to your height and weight or your body measurements. You'll have to measure around your chest, the length of your torso, and the space around your thighs. This will help you to get a harness that fits you properly.
The Process of Harness Inspection
Every time you get ready to use the safety harness, you need to be sure to conduct a complete safety inspection. This will help you identify any potential signs of wear that could put your safety at risk. Some of the things you'll be looking for include thin spots, frayed fabric and any other obvious physical damage. If your harness is visibly damaged, don't wear it. Wearing a damaged harness will put your safety at risk.
Buckle Components – Safety harnesses are equipped with friction buckles. The buckles interlock, so if any of the pieces are cracked, nicked or bent, it's important that you replace them. You should be able to get new buckles from the manufacturer.
Webbing – Most safety harnesses are designed with webbing in the areas that go around the legs, chest and arms. This is for comfort and convenience, because it allows the harness to flex with your body when you move. Check the webbing closely for any indications of wear, fraying or other visible damage. You should also look at all of the seam stitches to be sure that the stitching is still intact.
D-Rings – The D-rings on most harnesses are very thick and made from hardened steel. This is vital, because these rings take the brunt of the weight if you fall. Check each ring individually, ensuring that none of them are bent or cracked.
For more information about choosing a harness, contact a fall protection company.Share