Properly Fitting a Harness

See the steps below for making sure your harness fits properly.

A fall protection safety harness stands between you and serious injury or death if you were to fall when working at height, so it’s imperative that it fit properly. An improperly-fitted harness can fail or cause injury to the wearer in the event of a fall. Additionally, a harness that is not fitted properly can be uncomfortable and unpleasant to wear. Explore the steps for fitting your fall protection harness.

Fitting a Harness

You should go through the steps of fitting a harness any time you buy a new one, if it’s been a while since you’ve worn it, or if you have had significant weight loss or weight gain. Make sure to read the manual prior to fitting a new harness and keep it in a safe place to record important information.

  1. Inspect the harness for any damage or problems. You should inspect your harness every time before putting it on. Look for issues like tears, wear, chemical exposure, UV degradation, burns, or permanent marker on webbing (this can degrade the integrity of the material.) Any harness with a questionable condition should be removed from use immediately.
  2. Open all the buckles and adjust the straps to the biggest setting.
  3. Put the harness over your shoulders as if it were a shirt, and make sure all of the straps and webbing are lying flat and not twisted.
  4. Start with the leg straps, and adjust them until they are snug.
  5. Engage the rest of the buckles/clips and make necessary adjustments so the harness fits correctly and firmly. There should be no slack anywhere, and the harness should not be loose.
  6. Tuck in all excess straps so they will not be in the way or get caught on anything.
  7. Check the leg loops by inserting your flattened hand between your thigh and the webbing of the loops, trying to make a fist. If you can make a fist, then the loops are too loose.
  8. Have a second person check that your harness is fitted correctly and firmly and that there are no twists or other problems.

Store your harness in a cool, dry place, and never put it away wet as this can cause mold and rot and compromise the integrity of the harness. Make sure you have your harness inspected every six months by a competent person (or after a fall event) and know the manufacturer’s expiration end date of use for your harness.

Safe Keeper/ Safe Climber offers an array of fall protection products and other accessories, from harnesses and lanyards and self-retracting lines to confined space entry equipment and ladder systems. See our inventory today!

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