When using personal fall protection equipment,
wear a if you are at risk of falling.
A full body harness consists of straps passed over
the shoulders, across the chest, and around the legs.
In a fall, a protects you more than
a safety belt because the harness distributes the
force of impact over a greater area of your body.
Using the right
A designed to arrest falls should
A back-mounted D-ring located between the
The letter “A” stencilled on each shoulder strap
below the D-ring (as shown in bottom diagram)
An arrow stencilled above each letter “A” pointing
up at the D-ring
The arrows on the shoulder straps point to the only
D-ring on the harness designed to safely arrest a fall
Full Body Harness
What Does Full Body Harness Mean?
A is a holding device used to protect workers from falls by distributing the force of the fall over a large area of the ensuring that the subject of the fall remains suspended in an upright position after the fall has occurred. It is designed to minimize the risk of injuries caused by suspension. Body belts were previously used in fall protection, but their use was discontinued by OSHA in 1998 owing to their role in causing internal injuries.
Safeopedia Explains Full Body Harness
Fall arrest systems must be implemented in any situation that requires an employee to work more than 6 feet from the ground. The device should prevent a free-fall exceeding 6 feet and should allow for a deceleration distance of 3.5 feet. The maximum arresting force for a fall protection system is 1,800 pounds. The load capacity of a fall protection system should be at least double that required in order to check a free-fall of six feet. As with other types of safety equipment, the harness should be inspected daily and should not be used if there are any signs of wear and tear or damage. Once a harness has arrested a fall, it should not be re-used until it has been inspected by a competent person
A is a designed to hold the wearer upright in the event of a fall from height. If worn correctly, a
Full-body harnesses should be the first choice when it comes to working at height because they offer:
How are full body harnesses designed?
When looking at how harnesses are designed, there are a few common features that you can expect to see on any
When should you wear a full body harness?
Before you carry out any work at height, you should always assess the potential risks. Unfortunately, falling from height is a common cause of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. It’s important that you know when a full body harness is, or isn’t required. Your employee should carry out a full risk assessment before you carry out any work at height, notifying you if a full body harness is required while you complete your tasks.
Your employer might ask you to wear a full body harness if:
Choosing the right full body harness
In situations where a fall from height is a serious risk, you don’t want to be putting on any old harness and making your ascent. Choosing a full body harness that suits your weight and job requirements is paramount for your safety. Your full body harness should always:
Proper fall protection is often the only thing standing between you and serious injury or death. For full safety, it’s critical to choose the right full body harnesses for yourself and your team. Understanding the design and use empowers you to make the right decisions when it comes to your fall protection gear. This equipment will guard against accidents, maintain your company’s OSHA compliance, and create a better workplace for everyone involved.
A full body harness is a safety harness that connects the worker to the fall protection system anchored into the structure they’re working on. Using a series of straps that fit around the thighs, hips, chest, shoulders, and back, these harnesses arrest falls while minimizing injury to the worker. Full body harnesses are also designed to keep wearers upright after a fall to prevent suspension trauma and facilitate faster rescue.
As you’ll see below, however, the harnesses recommended today haven’t always been the most common option. It took several decades to develop a full body option that doesn’t prolong the danger caused by a workplace fall.
Full Body Harness vs. Body Belt
Initially, fall protection systems relied on a single belt, usually made of leather or canvas and worn around the waist, to prevent falls. Though this did arrest some falls, it wasn’t always successful. And when it did work, it often created new dangers, including:
In the 1970s and 1980s, workers began using two lanyards for additional safety. Known as a “100% tie-off system,” the second lanyard offered backup protection if anything happened to the first. It didn’t, however, prevent the hazards of using body belts. If you fell “correctly,” horizontally, you were often fine, but falling in any other position put you at serious risk.
Several safety organizations, including OSHA, tested body belts throughout the late 1900s. In one test performed by the British Standards Institute’s National Engineering Lab, the body belt folded the dummy in half, slamming its head against the surface below. In another study by OSHA, engineers determined that an average-sized woman could survive for 2.5 minutes while suspended in a body belt. The average-sized man would only last 32 seconds.
Though some companies used safety harnesses rather than just body belts as early as the 1940s, they didn’t become common until OSHA banned body belts as the only form of fall protection in 1998. Inspired by the harnesses used by paratroopers, manufacturers developed harnesses that strapped across the upper and lower body to distribute weight more evenly.
Over the years, we have seen not just an evolution of the harness, but a revolution in comfort. Manufacturers use materials that are lightweight and strong enough to withstand regular use. The straps are arranged to arrest falls with minimal injury and maximum comfort during use. The dorsal D-ring is used universally because of the convenience it offers and the way it helps to distribute weight.
Today, full body harnesses improve safety in two main ways. Along with an optimized design, they are no longer uncomfortable to wear or use. Workers can easily and conveniently use them for specific tasks, encouraging regular use and increasing workplace safety.
Numerous industries require workers to climb or crawl into confined spaces such as crawl spaces and tunnels. In these situations, OSHA requires employers to provide safety harnesses that simplify rescue if needed. Along with a full body or chest harness, workers need retrieval lines that are attached between the shoulder blades or above the user’s head. Retrieval lines can also be attached, according to OSHA, “at another point which the employer can establish presents a profile small enough for the successful removal of the entrant.”
These design details ensure that workers can be lifted or removed from the tight spaces without endangering other workers. It also speeds up potential rescue efforts to minimize danger and injury to the people involved.
Basic Components of a Full Body Safety Harness