A fall protection safety harness protects you from severe injury or death if you fall when working at heights, so it must fit properly. An improperly-fitted harness can fail or cause harm to the wearer in the event of a fall. In addition, a safety harness that does not fit 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. Please read the manual before fitting a new harness and keep it in a safe place to record important information.
- Inspect the harness for any damage or problems. It would be best if you inspected 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.) Remove any harness with a questionable condition from use immediately.
- Open all the buckles and adjust the straps to the largest setting.
- Put the harness over your shoulders as if it were a shirt, and make sure all straps and webbing are flat and not twisted.
- Begin with the leg straps, and adjust them until they are snug.
- Engage the rest of the buckles/clips and make necessary adjustments, so the harness fits correctly and firmly. There should be no slack, and the safety harness should not be loose.
- Tuck in all excess straps so they will not be in the way or get caught on anything.
- Check the leg loops by inserting your flattened hand between your thigh and the webbing of the leg loops, trying to make a fist. If you can make a fist, the leg loops are too loose.
- Have a second person check that your harness fits 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 safety harness. Also, 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 safety harness.
Safe Keeper Fall Protection offers an array of fall protection products and other accessories, from harnesses, lanyards, and self-retracting lines to confined space entry equipment and ladder systems.