How I Came to Love Construction

Properly Putting on a Fall Safety Harness

by Wade Black

Fall protection harnesses will help you reduce your liability expenses and will also give you the peace-of-mind knowing that you and your workers will be better protected. This device should be used whenever workers are in an elevated position at a height of six feet or higher. Rather than relying on the user holding onto something, like a rope, a fall protection harness will automatically catch the worker during a fall. But it must be used properly for it to be effective.

Checking Your Harness before Using

You must always inspect your fall protection harness before putting it on. First, shake the harness and allow all of the straps to fall into place so it is easier to scrutinize. Inspect all of the webbing to make sure there are no tears and that it is all intact. Check the hardware to make sure it is not bent or cracked. Some harnesses have grommets, so make sure that they are attached. Look at the buckles for signs of damage, including bent tongues. If you notice any damage, use a different harness. Also, if you notice another worker putting on a harness, verify that he or she is following the same procedure.

Putting the Harness On

Release and unbuckle all of the straps before putting the harness on. When slipping the straps over your shoulders, make sure that the D-ring is in the middle of your back. If you are not sure, ask someone else to verify. Pull one leg strap in-between your legs and fasten it. Then, do the same for the other leg strap. Connect the chest strap. Ideally, it should be vertically in the center of your chest. Some harnesses have a waist buckle, so make sure to tighten that.

Tightening the Straps

Tighten all of the straps to make sure there are tight, but not so tight that they are uncomfortable. You should still have a full range of motion. While adjusting, stand-up straight and make sure none of the straps have become twisted, which would prevent them from being tightened properly. The harness will have strap loose ends. To prevent them from getting in the way, place them in strap retainers attached to the harness.

The fall safety harness is only useful if it is put on properly. But if it is inspected for damage and is properly worn, your workers will be much less likely to be injured in a fall. For more information, talk to a professional like Public Works Supply.