Fall Protection Safety Harness

Guy looking out over roofs

A fall safety harness is a protective device that will save your life in the event you fall off a construction job. Whether you are putting the finishing touches on a major roofing project or working at a construction site that is still attaching the metal beams to the foundation, a fall protection safety harness is a must have.

With safety at the top of the list for most construction companies, being able to protect workers from a fall is only half the battle. In the event they do fall, the equipment must be able to assist in protecting the wearer when impact occurs. Here are a few benefits of the safety harness and why it is a must for anyone working in dangerous conditions outdoors.

Improved Design and Protection

Steel worker wearing safety harnessThese devices have come a very long way in just a short period of time. It was only a few decades ago that the standard in the industry was harnessed with a belt on the waist. The biggest problem with those body belts was if the person fell from a significant distance, when the harness absorbed all the impact at the waist, many times the injury to the body was severe.

The fall protection safety harness is designed to absorb the impact and keep you from experiencing significant injuries during the fall. So unlike the devices used to protect workers only a few years ago, the new harness will protect the person from getting injured from the fall, as well as during the fall when impact occurs.

Protecting Your Vitals

The old body belts that used to protect a person when they fell were effective when falling short distances. The reason they worked is because it was similar to having a rope tied around your waist if you fell in the water. As you were pulled back into the boat, the force of the rope is only on your back and waist. That pressure increases as the distance of the fall increases. You can obviously expect that during a fall of a few stories, the body will most likely snap in to when the safety belt stops the momentum of the fall.

Construction worker weldingAll that force is basically absorbed in the waist, and the majority of times this resulted in severe injuries to the person who fell. The new fall protection safety harnesses work to protect your vitals by taking that impact and distributing the force to different areas of the body.

By way of straps and buckles, that force is sent to your thighs, shoulders, chest, and your pelvis. When the force is distributed to more parts of your body, the impact overall is lessened significantly. This way your groin, back, and neck do not receive hardly any of the force and will remain safe within the harness.

Keeping Your Body Up

One of the biggest differences of the fall protection safety harness compared to the body belt is that as you fall, the harness works to keep your body in an upright position. When you are falling in this manner, the harness can then deploy a device that will decelerate your movement. The other benefit to the harness is that your spine will also stay in the vertical position. When your body and spine are in this position, you can best absorb the impact without suffering any significant injury.

As effective as the harness works, it is useless if it is not worn properly. When the harness improperly fits the wearer, injuries will result. Make certain that the harness fits snug and all the belts are secure and tight.

 Fall Prevention Training Guide CTA

Photo credit: PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0), D.Clow - Maryland / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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