A safety harness is one of most essential piece of kit found in any workers toolbox or vehicle, why? Because they are quite simply, lifesavers! When you work from height, whether it is 1 metres or 100 metres, a safety harness is vital, and all personnel should be issued with one if their work necessitates. It is prudent for anyone who works from heights and uses a safety harness to undertake a training session to understand how they work, and why they should always be worn.
Types of Harness SafetyThere are many types of safety harnesses available these days, all used in various ways; the 2 main systems that are commonly used are fall arrest or fall restraint systems. Fall restraint systems will stop you from falling in the first place, keeping you tightly anchored to where your lanyard/safety line is attached, though can be a little restrictive in moving around; the fall arrest system will catch you at a pre-determined height in the event of a fall, these allow more freedom to move around, however the fall distance should be kept to a minimum, as a longer and so faster fall can cause problems with whiplash type injuries and cutting off blood circulation in the groin area where the harness is situated if not released a.s.a.p.
Safety Harnesses AvailableLifting Gear Direct can supply safety harnesses to suit common situations that arise when working from heights. We have a couple of standard harnesses with one or 2 anchor points, a 2 point work positioning harness, a rescue harness and a high visibility harness; you can find out all about each type on their respective product pages – see below. We also supply a selection of safety harness kits to provide your basic needs in a kit bag.
We supply Kratos safety harnesses which are of a very high quality; it is very important to wear a harness which fits correctly to ensure minimal problems as noted above should the unthinkable happen. Each harness is available in a range of sizes to suit most personnel. It is the chest and thigh measurements which are the most important to ensure a good fit, the waist and height sizes you can see in the table are just for guidance.
Think about where you will use your harness to assess where you will need the anchor points on your harness! Dorsal (rear), sterna (front), lateral (side) or ventral (top suspension) or a combination of these, and choose your harness accordingly.
Why You Should Wear a Working at Height HarnessThere are so many jobs that involve working from heights, and/or in precarious places; for example; builders, crane engineers, telecom engineers, high-rise window cleaners, lifting gear industry workers, lift repairers and many more; all of these people should have a fully functional safety harness in their kit and should always be worn when operating from a height.
Often is the case, even for the most experienced worker, that it is seen as “too much trouble” to put on a safety harness for a quick and simple task that is not really that high up; this is not acceptable for any scenario, and no person should ever be that complacent, all it takes is a simple slip, or misplaced footing and you could be fatally injured. A safety harness, worn and used correctly will almost certainly save you from serious injuries and possibly your life at some stage of your working life, especially if you regularly work in the high risk industries.
A further down side to NOT wearing a safety harness, when you should, is that if you were injured via a fall, you would not be able to claim any compensation, it would be your own fault as not all the necessary precautions were taken.
Looking after your Body HarnessIt is vital that safety harnesses are fully checked over before each use to ensure there is no damage which could affect the safety rating of the harness. Any harness that has been through a fall should be replaced, as should any that has any deterioration, cuts, nicks or other damage to any part.
Remember, ALWAYS wear a safety harness when working from any height, it might just save your life.