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How to Select Effective Fall Arrest Equipment

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Fall arrest equipment is required for any job that is higher than a certain measurement based on OSHA standards. For general construction, fall arrest equipment is required for anything over 4 feet, and on scaffolding fall arrest equipment is required for anything over 10 feet.

A safety harness and accessories are required because they are effective at providing the safety that workers need in case of slip or fall. If you require the use of fall arrest equipment on a job site, it is imperative to select the harness that is right for the job at hand so you stay safe and comfortable at all times.

Parts Needed for Complete Fall Arrest System

Roofing Anchor: Your fall arrest equipment has to have something to tie to, providing the support if ever there were a fall.

Anchors can either be permanent or temporary, based on how often fall arrest safety is needed for a specific setting.

Connecting Devices: Depending on the fall arrest system use, you will require either a lanyard, horizontal lifeline, vertical lifeline, or rope grab.

These are the parts of fall arrest equipment that attaches to both the harness and the anchor. Their job is to provide shock resistance and hold the individual using the fall arrest system until they can get to safety. Lifelines can be self-coiled or hand operated, depending on the job at hand.

Harness: The most defining part of a fall arrest system is the harness. This is the accessory that works to hold a worker in the air, offering support around the midsection and legs mostly.

A harness should be individualized based on an individual’s size, so they should be purchased for single person use. Use of a harness depends on D-rung location. The D-rung is the part of a harness that attaches to the connecting device, so it affects the positioning and use of fall arrest equipment.

Different D-Rung Harness Placement for Different Jobs

Standard Harness: Your standard fall arrest harness will include a D-rung placed on the back, making jobs at high distances safe to perform. A standard harness can be used with rope descent, rope grab, and lifeline systems.

Climbing Harness: For jobs that include lots of climbing vertical lengths, a climbing harness is best. These include D-rung placement on the front of the harness, allowing for a fall away from the structure being climbed for a safe landing.

Front D-rung placement makes it easier to utilize a rope grab connecting device if that is what you prefer.

Positioning Harness: These harnesses are used in high jobs that require hands-free movement. The D-rungs are located on the hips, allowing attachment from either or both sides. They are otherwise referred to as ventral harness systems.

Retrieval Harness: For the fall arrest rescue or for drops in enclosed spaces like a stairwell, you may need the use of a retrieval type harness. These have D-rungs located on both shoulders, offering a connection from above.

Construction Belt Harness: Much like a positioning harness, this type offers D-rung support from the hips. The different is a construction belt, offering alternative attachment options, supportive padding, and accessory placement.

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