A safety harness is a form of protective equipment designed to protect a person, animal, or object from injury or damage. The harness is an attachment between a stationary and non-stationary object and is usually fabricated from rope, cable or webbing and locking hardware. Some safety harnesses are used in combination with a shock absorber, which is used to regulate deceleration when the end of the rope is reached. One example would be bungee jumping.
In North America, Safety Harness for protection against falls from heights in industrial and construction activities are covered by design performance standards issued by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) in the United States and by CSA (Canadian Standards Association) in Canada. Specifically, the standards issued are ANSI Z359.1 and CSA Z259.10. These standards are updated approximately every four to five years so it is important to ensure the latest version is referenced.
Fall Protection Systems
Listed below are different types of fall safety equipment and their recommended usage.
Class 1 Body belts (single or double D-ring) are designed to restrain a person in a hazardous work position to prevent fall or to arrest a fall completely within 3 foot of movement (OSHA). Amends must be made to keep the line rigid at all times. A harness should also be used.
Class 2 Chest harnesses are used when there are only limited fall hazards (no vertical free fall hazard), or for retrieving persons such as removal of persons from a tank or a bin.
Class 3 Full body harnesses are designed to arrest the most severe free falls.
Safety harness types include:
- Seat belts.
- Child safety seats.
- Over-the-shoulder restraints used on roller coaster trains.
- A seat with a full body harness such as used by fighter pilots.
Occupations that may involve the use of safety harnesses include:
- Window washer
- Theatrical fly crew member
- Construction worker
- Crane operator
- Bridge painter
- Rock climber
Jones & Bartlett. Fire Fighter Skills. 2nd ed. Boston, Toronto, London, Singapore: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2009. pp243-244. Print.
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