Tag Archives: weight


Accidental falls top the list of fatalities in the construction industry. For this reason, it is important to make the right choice of safety harness. This will have to depend on factors like the kind of work, environment, and the level of risk involved, among others.  A safety harness can come with many different features; here are some things to consider when your ready to buy:

  •        Padding
  •        Webbing
  •        Buckles
  •        Weight
  •        Features
  •        Accessories 

What about the safety harness features?

If you are looking for a safety harness that can meet OSHA compliance standards you will find that a basic safety harness will be affordable with a simple design and have a universal size.  This type of harness will certainly work, but is not ideal for a professional who uses a safety harness daily.

Most construction safety harnesses feature a padded waist belt for use with tools as well as side hip D-rings.  These features are specific to the construction industry but not included in all safety harnesses. 

Questions to ask about safety construction harnesses

What type of work will I be doing?

If you are always working at height, you might consider integrated tool pouches as well as tool belt that conforms and fits to your toolset.  If your work requires positioning, then you will need side D-Rings, these can be custom fit your harness. OSHA requires them to be proof-tested to a minimum load of 3,600 lbs. without breaking, cracking or becoming deformed. 

How long or often will I be wearing my safety harness?

Arguably the most important feature on a safety harness, padding provides much-needed comfort and adds a layer of protection in the event of a fall.  If your job consists of long hours in a harness, a question you might ask is; could I wear this all day?  The comfort of your harness should be one of the deciding factors when choosing a construction safety harness. 

A general rule when buying safety harnesses is that more padding=more comfort, the same goes for work boots and helmets.  If you’re planning on spending long hours in your safety harness, you should consider more padding; you will feel the benefits daily.

What material is my safety harness made with?

Dyneema and Kevlar are considered the premium webbing materials used for safety harnesses.  Both materials are comparable to steel and commonly used in military body armor.

Will I be sharing this harness with my co-workers?

For a construction worker, the ability to quickly snap in and adjust the harness can be a real timesaver.  Safety harness buckles come in three basic types, quick-connect, pass-thru, and tongue.  If your job requires you to share your harness with other workers, you may want to consider a harness with tongue buckles.  These are easy to adjust on the fly but not as precise as the quick connect buckles.

What about the size and weight?

The size of your safety harness is determined by your height and weight, always consult a safety professional to help determine the appropriate size for your build.  Additionally you should check the MFG sizing charts, if your total weight is over 310lbs (including tools) you should opt for a specially rated harness for increased capacity.  

With the appropriate type of harness, which conforms to OSHA standards, accidental falls, work related injuries, and fatalities can be minimized and your day can be just bit more comfortable! 

Note: Blog4Safety’s parent company, Texas America Safety Company, also has a huge array of safety harnesses



First, how many of us know exactly how our backs are built?  According to the National Ag Safety Database, (NASD), your backbone is made up of 24 individual bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of one another.  Vertebrae are separated by soft discs of cartilage that performs as shock absorbers for your vertebrae.  They help your back to bend, twist, and move around.  Most of the support to your spine is maintained by your stomach muscles, as well as the many muscles and ligaments that run up and down the length of your back. 

If we all could get a picture of what our backs actually look like, it’s doubtful that it would be as well lined up as the description.  The base of my spine is not lined up as it should be, and when I try to use my stomach muscles, it hurts my back.  I also sit at a computer all day, and my posture is not straight, as it should be. Slouching makes the back ligaments, not the muscles, stretch and hurt, thus putting pressure on the vertebrae.  If you work at a desk job, the best way to sit is straight, with your back against the back of the chair, and your feet flat on the floor, and your knees slightly higher than your hips.  When standing, stand tall, with your head up and shoulders back.  (Teach your children to get in the habit of good posture.)

Many persons carry excess weight, such as potbellies, which exert extra force on back and stomach muscles.  Your back is trying to support the weight out in front by swaying backwards, which causes excess strain on the lower back muscles.  Losing weight can reduce strain and pain in your back.  Having strong back and stomach muscles is important in order to ease the work your back goes through daily.  

Many times we sleep on mattresses that are not firm enough for good support.  You could try placing plywood between your box springs and mattress for better back support.  Either sleep on your side with your knees bent, or on your back with a pillow under your knees for support.  When driving, keep your back straight against the seat and close enough to the wheel so your knees are bent and are slightly higher than your hips.  

My work experience causes me to reflect on years of lifting heavy boxes full of files, rather than ask someone to help me.  I surely have paid for it, but not as seriously as others, who lift heavy objects all day long.  In my case, I could have asked for a little help, and it would have eliminated the risk of hurting my back.  We often don’t think about the object that we are going to lift, or how we are going to go about the task.  Plan your lifts in advance – think about the weight of the object you will be moving and how far you are moving it.  Eliminate any hazards that you see could be eliminated ahead of time.  And never fail to ask for help when you need it. 

We all know the standard rule: lift with your legs, not your back.  Slowly squat down by bending your knees, not your back and stomach.  With both hands, firmly grab the load and bring it close to your body.  Once it is close to your body, slowly straighten out your legs until you are standing upright.  Make sure you can see where you are going, as you walk slowly to your destination.  

Once you have reached your target, it is equally important to unload the object properly.  Reverse the lifting procedures just described and you will reduce the strain on your back and stomach muscles.  If necessary to set the load on the ground, squat down by bending your knees and position the load out in front of you.  Remember, if it is too heavy, bulky, or awkward for you to lift alone, find someone to help you with it.  I have found that now, when I fill file boxes, I only fill them half-full, and carry that to the car to be returned to our office; then I carry the other half of the files and place them in the box in my car.  It’s sure easier than trying to carry the whole thing.  Also, you may want to find a cart to transport your load.

Remember, it is easier to prevent a back injury than to repair one.  It is necessary to take care of your back because your back is critically important to your ability to walk, sit, stand, and run.  There are all types of lifting belts, back supports, and other ergonomic products that can support your back.  


Pat Brownlee writes for Blog4Safety, owned by parent company, Texas America Safety Company, http://www.tasco-safety.com/ Brownwood, Texas.


“OSHA describes scissor lifts as machines that are “movable scaffolds.”  They can lift large, heavy loads that are well balanced, as well as employees, and are capable of moving them safely to and from high elevations.  There are several different safety requirements that apply to the maintenance and use of scissor lifts, because they are classified as heavy equipment.”  This is an excerpt from an article we published in August of this year.  Thankfully, a reader and friend from the United Kingdom has written an outstanding article that gives us a good perspective regarding safety and scissor lifts.  Please enjoy the following Guest Post:

5 Scissor Lift Safety Do’s and Don’ts

In operating heavy machineries it is important for the operators of these machines to be aware of the safety procedures and guidelines in order to avoid accidents and injuries. Safety should be the primary concern of operators when workers are doing their jobs using heavy machines. The time to finish jobs when following safety procedures will be longer but the risks will be lower and the chance of delay in the operation on account of accidents and injuries will be reduced. Also, the chances of lawsuits will be lower in cases of work related accidents and injuries if safety guidelines are followed strictly.

Colleges have been using aerial lifts for reasons other than their intended purpose. The most frequent use of scissor lifts is the filming of football practices to get an aerial view of college teams. This practice has been deemed unsafe because the person holding the camera might be blown over by a sudden gust of wind and there are no safety regulations and guidelines being followed to prevent that sort of thing.

A twenty year old has died because of the failure of university officials to set safety guidelines when using scissor lifts. Investigations were made by the university where the unfortunate incident happened and they found out after a few months after the incident that the policies of the university regarding the safety procedures and safeguards in using scissor lifts were not adequate to prevent accidents like the one that happened.  After that, other colleges have looked into their own policies when using machines such as these.  For the purpose of preventing accidents from happening when using scissor lifts here are 5 guidelines to follow.

1.       Use it for raised platform working, but don’t overload

Scissor lifts are just like any machine, they can perform the jobs needed from them but they also have a limit. Scissor lifts are primarily used for raising up things or people so they can do their tasks from an elevated platform. The weight of the things to be raised is a priority in safety because as the platform is raised, the base on which it is anchored becomes unstable as it goes higher. Once the platform becomes unstable outside forces like winds or a shake in the base will greatly affect the raised platform which can lead to accidents.

2.       Use it to transfer materials, but don’t rush

When transferring materials to high places it is always recommended to be sure and steady. As the adage goes “haste makes waste.” Caution should always be practiced when using heavy machinery and when dealing with machines that extend many feet above the ground.

3.       Use lanyards but follow the Ghostbusters’s rule (don’t cross the streams)

Lanyards are used as a safety option when operating machinery. It is attached to a worker’s wrist and in case the worker becomes incapacitated when operating the machine, the fall will enable the lanyard to pull the “kill switch” which is also attached to the lanyard and stop the machine from operating. However, another precaution should also be in place in order for the lanyards to be effective as a safety measure. Workers must make sure that their lanyards are not intertwined or are not crossing the streams as the safety precaution of lanyards will be compromised.

4.       Stay inside the guard rails, don’t over extend or stand on the rails

Persons who are tasked to be on the platform should always bear in mind that the guard rails are there for a reason. It is for their own protection to keep their bodies in the guard rail all the time. There are some circumstances and sometimes they cannot be avoided, that require a worker to reach out over the platform to perform a task. But one should be vigilant to not lean over or reach out too much to a point of over extending one’s self beyond the guardrails. Standing on the rails should also be avoided. The safety hazards of such act are innumerable and are subjected to every kind of outside forces that will cause a person to lose balance and fall. If there is an urgent need to go higher to perform a task it is better to raise up the platform itself rather than stand on the guard rails.

5.       Move the platform for different areas but not while the platform is extended.

When moving heavy machineries or any mechanical device for that matter, it is best to be cautious when transporting them from one place to another. The platform of the scissor lift should be brought back to its original place in the machine before moving the whole thing, just like when one would move a car or an oven, it is best to close the doors first so it won’t bump into other things while in transit. The same safety concept should be adopted when moving the platform of a scissor lift. In order to avoid accidents and injuries the extended platform should be lowered first before moving from one place to another.

In any job requiring the use of machines, especially heavy machinery it is very important to follow the safety guidelines while operating them. Operators should be strict in enforcing these guidelines to ensure a safe working environment for people using heavy machineries like scissor lifts. An unfortunate accident already happened because of the lack of safety standards in the use of scissor lifts outside of construction sites, like in colleges. The safety guidelines should be addressed by colleges when their students are using machineries like scissor lifts. There are standard safety guidelines to be followed strictly in order to avoid accidents when using scissor lifts.

We thank Allan Twillert, a Marketing Consultant that writes for Horizon Limited Platforms, a construction machine rental solution company in the United Kingdom.  For more information on Allan’s company, go to info@horizonplatformsco.uk.  It is an honor for us to hear from our friends in other countries who , like us, are very concerned about the safety of workers and students.