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:
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!