Falls that arise when working from heights are the biggest cause of serious injuries and fatalities in the workplace. If you are working from a height of 6 feet or more, it is recommended that you wear a fall protection equipment like the fall arrest harness. For many employees, however, they only realize the need for fall protection systems once there are involved in a fall and they sustain injuries.
You should, however, not wait until you become a fall victim. Instead, always wear the appropriate fall protection equipment when working from heights. It is also an OSHA requirement that the right fall protection systems are put in place for workers working at heights. Fall arrest harnesses especially full body harnesses are usually often a preferred option because they distribute the force of a fall throughout the entire body.
On the other hand, a safety harness is essential in personal fall arrest because the user will remain suspended upright when a fall happens. The safety harness will also support the user while being rescued. Also, the fall protection system should be worn correctly. To wear the safety harness correctly, you need to follow the procedure to make sure there is full protection. The fall risk will be high if the fall arrest equipment is worn incorrectly.
Some time back, body belts were commonly used but that is not the case nowadays since they concentrated the fall forces at the waist. Today, harnesses and lanyards are usually recommended. It is, however, important that you choose the appropriate harness. The harness should fit your situation, as well as the anchorage points. There are certain features worth considering when looking for a perfect safety harness that includes the following.
1. Consider the padding.
Nowadays, user comfort has become an important factor to consider when choosing a safety harness. The shortcomings of the old safety harnesses is that they were not comfortable and were also rigid. This made it bothersome for the user. To remove the discomfort caused by web straps, modern safety harnesses are fitted with integrated padding.
Padding will significantly add comfort and provide a protection layer during post-fall suspension or when fall occurs. The padding will make the harness easier to wear because it makes it retain its shape.
2. The webbing will be worth considering.
There are better webbing technology nowadays. Depending on your working environment, your safety harness webbing will make a huge difference. Nowadays, there are harnesses that are liquid-resistant, paint-resistant, and heat-resistant. You will also find harnesses that have stretchable webbing which provides better ergonomics. As a result, there is increased freedom of movement and comfort. Based on your work environment, you will find webbing that is suitable for you.