Seven Steps to Put on A Safety Harness
By Alexandra Serban
March 03, 2020
Fall protection PPE is efficient in saving lives, only when used properly. Everyone working at height needs to know how to inspect and select PPE for each application, including how to properly fit a fall protection harness.
The fall protection harness is an essential component of the fall arrest system. It attaches the anchor and lifeline to the worker, so if it fails, the whole safety system fails, too.
To avoid fall accidents, follow these seven steps on how to properly fit your fall protection harness.
1. Inspect the safety harness before using it. The buckles and other hardware should be firmly attached to the straps. Look for exposed buckle springs that can loosen under pressure. Don’t use a harness with cut, frayed, weakened straps or sharp hardware that could damage the straps. For quick inspections, some harnesses have a “fall indicator” that will separate if the harness has experienced too much force like a fall.
2. Open all buckles. Unbuckle chest, leg and waist straps, before putting it on. If the harness has a belt, unbuckle it, too. Make sure the quick-connect buckles securely mate together upon connection with an audible click.
3. Grab the harness by the back D-ring, then grab the left strap with the left hand, right strap with the right hand, and shake to allow any tangled straps to fall into place.
4. Slip the straps over the shoulders, so the back D-ring is in the middle of the back, between the shoulder blades. Make sure the D-ring is large enough to accommodate the lanyard or self-retracting lifeline. Properly positioning the D-ring is key to make sure the worker is suspended upright in case of a fall.
5. Pull the end of one leg strap between the legs and secure to the opposite end. Repeat this step with the other leg. If the harness has a belt, connect it after the leg straps.
Here are some of the common buckle types:
- Tongue buckles - to fasten this type of buckle, pass the webbing through the buckle and insert the tongue through the grommet.
- Parachute buckles - pass the webbing under the buckle, over the roller, and down between the roller and frame. Pull the end webbing to tighten. At least three inches of webbing must extend past the buckle.
- Pass-style buckles - pass the male buckle through the female buckle and pull the free end of the webbing to tighten
- Quick-connect buckles - insert the tab of the buckle into the receptor of the quick connect buckle until you hear a click.
6. Connect the chest strap and position it in the mid-chest area, then tighten shoulder straps to make sure they don’t fall off in the event of an accident.
After connecting all the buckles, adjust the straps so that the harness fits snug, but still allows a full range of movement. Test by sliding your hands under the webbing and make a fist. If you can pull the hand out too easily, the strap is a bit too loose. Pass excess webbing under the loop.
Honeywell Miller Fall Protection has been protecting workers at height for over 75 years. Since 1944, our mission has been to get workers some safely to their families. Our fall protection portfolio features a range of fall equipment with our harnesses going from cost-competitive to premium. Our top-line AirCoreTM harness has exceptional comfort, breathability and functionality for the everyday worker at height.