6 Things to Consider When Looking for a Safety Harness
A safety harness is an essential piece of protective equipment used in a wide array of settings, ranging from high-risk work settings to even different sports activities. Regardless of whether you need one for the former or the latter, the importance of this piece of equipment cannot be stressed enough. A safety harness, fastened to a fixed point, improves the wearer’s protection from falls when working at heights. It can also be an invaluable tool should the necessity for rescue arise in dangerous working conditions. An additional benefit of a safety harness is that it lends the wearer a lot of freedom. It allows the wearer to use both of their hands without compromising safety, which allows them to work more efficiently.
It probably does not occur to people just how many aspects one needs to consider when picking out a safety harness – until they need to choose one. There’s a large selection of safety harnesses on the market today, with different features and styles, and you might not know what to look for. To help you out, here are six things you should consider when looking for a safety harness.
Purpose of use
First and foremost, pinning down the exact purpose you need your safety harness for is paramount. This goes way beyond picking between recreational and professional safety harnesses, though that is certainly the first question to get out of the way since the two categories have vast differences. General or fall arrest harnesses are, as the name says, used for general purposes, usually infrequently. Work that involves raising and lowering also requires different harnesses than work that involves confined space entry. Are you to use your harness in work conditions where heat and sparks may be present? Then picking a harness made from heat-resistant material specifically for this purpose is the only way to go. Do you expect to work at night where visibility may become a concern? Make picking a high-visibility model a priority. You get the idea.
Safety is a priority, so you must ensure that the harness you are going for meets all the safety codes. Before making a purchase, check if the harness has been tested according to the OSHA standards. Different places may have different standards regarding safety equipment, so be sure to check your local regulations. Doing so will ensure that you don’t need to worry when the time for a health and safety audit comes.
As mentioned in the beginning, harnesses come in a variety of styles. Generally, you will need to pick between crossover and vest-style harnesses. The body type of the wearer can influence this choice greatly, but it’s also a question of preference. For instance, women may find that regular vest-style harnesses fit them poorly, much like the majority of safety equipment designed with men in mind, while crossover-style harnesses fit thinner and smaller body types much better. Conversely, vest-style harnesses are a better choice for those with a larger body mass.
Size and adjustability
The next thing to pay attention to when picking a harness is its size and adjustability. It’s important to wear a well-fitting harness, both for safety and comfort reasons. A harness that is too tight will constrict movement, while one that is too big will not provide the expected level of protection. A high level of adjustability can compromise for discrepancies, so prioritize this property if more than one person is to use the harness.
Another thing to consider when looking for the right safety harness is comfort. Comfort is more important than you might think. Workers may be required to wear their safety harness for prolonged periods of time, so ensuring comfort equals ensuring productivity and boosting morale. It’s important that you find a reliable safety harness that is lightweight so that it doesn’t get uncomfortable when worn for hours. Keep ergonomics in mind, too, to preserve your or your workers’ well-being. Some safety harnesses are also equipped with padding for added comfort, so if you expect to wear this harness a lot, investing in this aspect pays off.
Price and durability
Finally, we must also discuss the price and durability of safety harnesses as the financial aspect will also likely influence your choice. Nevertheless, if there is one thing worth investing in, it’s certainly your health and well-being, so compromising your choice due to financial reasons may not be the best choice. To make sure that your investment pays off, pick a safety harness that will be able to serve you reliably for years to come.
There is no one good answer to the question of which safety harness you should choose. However, taking all your individual needs and priorities into account will allow you to narrow down your search considerably. A well-chosen harness will be able to ensure the safety of the wearer while executing high-risk jobs. Whichever style you go for, remember to never compromise on quality.