Safety Harnesses 101
A safety harness is a form of personal protective equipment (PPE). It’s made of various straps and belts that secure personnel to help keep them from falling or getting injured.
What makes up the safety harness and why? The various belts and buckles that make up the harness sit in very specific areas of the body so that:
The harness is comfortable for the worker to wear
It absorbs the majority of a fall’s force
The straps are situated over the shoulders, pelvis, chest, and around the upper thigh of an individual. However, despite all the straps, belts, and buckles, the harness is fashioned to stay flexible so personnel can still do their job.
Why Are Safety Harnesses Important? The main purpose of a safety harness is to keep individuals from injury due to falling. The harness does not prevent a fall, but helps reduce the impact of a fall.
Even though a harness is incredibly important to employees working at heights, there are still risks caused by the harness after a fall. If not given aid within 10-15 minutes of a fall, an individual may suffer from suspension trauma. This takes place when the weight of a worker weighs down in the harness and begins to cut off circulation.
Inspecting Harnesses – All personal protective equipment (including harnesses) should be inspected at least one or two times per year. Be sure to check:
The webbing: Any strains, frays, or loosened stitching in the webbing is an indication that the harness should be replaced.
Straps or belts: Similarly to the webbing, any fraying or strained straps should be inspected.
Buckles: Any bent, broken, or chipped buckles should be replaced.
D-Rings and plastic loops: Make sure there is no rusting, cracking, or distortion on any of the rings or loops.
Labels: Finally, ensure labels are showing with serial numbers and important dates (such as inspection dates) so you can keep on track with your harness inspections.
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