A Guide To Scaffolding Safety Harnesses

Purchasing the right scaffolding safety harness could mean a matter of life and death. A harness must support the weight of the person who falls, but the harness and entire fall protection setup must also limit the amount of shock or stress put on the body.

Before deciding which harness to purchase, the employee who will be performing the working at heights task must be properly trained.

During their training, they will learn about the many important tasks that must be done before putting on the harness and performing the work. They will learn how to inspect the harness, how to calculate the required fall height, and much more.

A rescue plan (in the form of a written procedure) must be setup and communicated with anyone involved so that in the event of a fall, the staff are prepared to deal with a rescue.

Once the employee has been trained, and is aware of the dangers associated with working at heights, then it’s time for the employee to try on a harness.

Important Scaffolding Safety Harnesses Considerations

There are many harnesses that exist on the market, but there are several important things to take into consideration.

1. Weight Requirements

One of the first is to ensure that the harness is within the correct weight requirements. If you have a larger or smaller employee, it is crucial to ensure their harness is rated for their weight. The tag should be sufficient enough to ensure it is the right size.

2. Local Norms

Next, you need to ensure it meets all the local norms. Depending on where you live and work, there are different norms and standards that need to be met. Some of these might include OHSA (Occupation Health and Safety Administration) which is used in the United States and sometimes in other nearby countries like Canada, CE (Conformité Européene) which is used in many parts of Europe, or many others.

In order to find out what is required, you can take a look at government websites such as;

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/
http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/

Once you have determined which norms you need to follow, you can then start looking for different harnesses.

Although it is easy to find things online, sometimes it is easier to go to a local store. These local stores should be aware of the norms, and will ensure that what you purchase meets all the local requirements.
Sometimes ordering something slightly cheaper could not be compliant with all the requirements, and thus you will have to purchase another harness in order to be compliant.

3. Comfort and Fit

What is important with the harness is that the harness is comfortable, and fits. Harnesses can always be adjusted, but within a certain tolerance. If the employee doesn’t fit, they need to get either a bigger or smaller size so that they fit correctly.

4. Lanyard

Another factor that needs to be considered when purchasing harnesses is the lanyard. The lanyard can play a crucial role in protecting an employee. Many lanyards now have shock absorbers, and so having a shock absorber which is rated for the employees weight will significantly help reduce the risk of injury during a fall.

Scaffolding Safety Harness

Below is an example of a harnesses that can be found on Amazon. It is important to note that there are hundreds or even thousands available, but it is important to spend the extra money when required to ensure you and your employees stay safe.

X XBEN Comfortable Roofing Fall Protection Safety Harness

X XBEN Comfortable Roofing Fall Protection Safety Harness

This harness meets or exceeds OSHA, ANSI, and CE certification. This is very important when selecting a harness.

Conclusion

There are many other options that you can find online. However, as mentioned above, sometimes for a purchase such as a harness it is important to go in person to try them on.

When choosing which safety harness to purchase, it is important to remember that you or the lives of your employees are resting in the hands of the harness. Ensuring that the employees are properly trained on how to use and inspect the harness, as well as providing them with a harness which is comfortable is an important aspect to any scaffolder.

Learn more about other Scaffolding Tools.

Alex Neumann
About Alex Neumann

Alex has spent most of his working life in the concrete and cement business. While working in these manufacturing facilities, he worked on several projects, where health and safety was always the biggest priority. Whether it be working on small ready-mix concrete sites at minus 30 degrees Celcius (-22 Farenheit), or working inside large cement manufacturing facilities, working at heights meant requiring scaffolding to reach the hard to get-to places. It also meant working in areas where a fall could be dangerous or even deadly. From these various experiences, he developed an understanding and appreciation of scaffolding.

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