Safety & Access

A Quick Guide to Safety Harness Use

June 1st, 2020

Our Safety & Access Ltd. working at height training is extensive. It has to be – staff need to be trained on a huge range of risks and restrictions so that they can work on projects at a height safely. One of the most popular training courses that we offer is the Inspection and Safe Use of Harnesses training course.

Does your team know how to use a harness correctly? Would they be able to spot a faulty one? And how do harnesses tie in with risk assessments? On our Inspection and Safe Use of Harness training course, you’ll get all the theoretical and practical knowledge you need about safety harness use – and all of it in just half a day.

What is a Safety Harness?

A safety harness is a pretty simple piece of equipment. There are many different models and variations in style, but in its simplest form, a safety harness is a system of restraints designed to prevent the user from falling from a height. Safety harnesses also greatly reduce the risk of injury if they were to fall from height.

Once the user is wearing the harness they attach it to a solid, stationary object. Should they fall for whatever reason, the harness and the fall protection system will prevent them from contacting the ground.

Why Should I Be Using a Safety Harness?

When used correctly, your fall protection system (your safety harness is part of that) will prevent injuries and ultimately, save lives. Working from height is one of the most dangerous aspects of industrial work and, sadly, claims lives every single year. Safety harnesses, when combined with sufficient working at height practice, reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring.

On a more practical note, harnesses give workers the reassurance that they have taken all of the necessary precautions to protect themselves in a potentially dangerous work situation. They’ll be able to freely use their hands and carry out the required tasks.

For organisations, it’s worth investing in working at height and safety harness use training. By training your staff in how to use safety harnesses and work at height, you’re less likely to deal with compensation, injured workers on sick leave, or disruption to your project.

How Do I Use a Safety Harness?

We said it would be a quick guide to safety harness use – we know that you really want get into it and figure out how it all goes together.

But before that, you need to know how to inspect the harness to make sure that it’s suitable for industrial use.

Inspecting Your Safety Harness

As with all Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), you should inspect your safety harness for suitability every 12 months and complete the detailed periodic inspection regularly. That’s on top of checking the safety harness before each use.

Check for signs of damage, or ‘bobbing’ to the fabric. Signs of loose stitching could also indicate that there’s a problem with the harness structure.

Ensure that the buckles are not bent, chipped, or damaged. The d-rings and plastic loops should also be checked for any distortion, cracks, or rust. Finally, double-check the label. There should be a serial number, manufactured date, and inspection date. Older harnesses should not be used.

Using Your Safety Harness

If you fail to assemble your harness correctly, then you’ll end up doing more harm than good.

Your legs come first – pull the thigh straps up and around your legs, and tighten them to suit. Next, make sure that your arms are through the arm straps, and connect the chest strap so that the fabric is tight on the shoulders. The chest strap and shoulder straps should be central and comfortable.

Try to move your arms and shoulders – if there are any restrictions, adjust the buckles as necessary.

Once you’ve assembled your safety harness correctly, you can attach it to whatever device has been identified as safe and reliable in your working at height instructions.

Safety Harness Training with Safety & Access Ltd

On our Inspection and Safe Use of Harness training course, you’ll learn all about the relevant regulations and HSE advice when it comes to wearing a safety harness and working at height.

After the question session and the theory test, each trainee will receive a certificate that confirms they are fully trained.

Contact our Safety & Access Ltd team to find out about our next training courcse. We’re local to your area and determined to keep your team safe when working at height.