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Staying safe whilst working at height, accessing areas and working near open edgesDownload here
There are a range of harnesses.
From basic single point fall arrest harnesses to quality work positioning and rescue harnesses which are comfortable to hang in all day.
You need to know which one is right for you and your task.
Attachment points and type of harness
1 point (front chest) – fall arrest, but really only suitable for work restraint
2 point (front chest and rear) fall arrest and work restraint
3 point (add front waist) primarily for work positioning
5 point (add one on each hip) Work positioning with some additional stability
Rescue – rescue strap to lift or lower the casualty near vertical to safety
Comfort – padding, freedom of movement and harness type – suited to the wearers body shape and needs
Fast-fit – ease of putting on, taking off and adjustability
High visibility – seen during the day
Reflective – be seen when lit up at night
Glow in the dark – be seen when the lights go out…
What is the harness used for?
Is the harness suitable for the weight and size of the wearer?
How often and how long will they wear the harness?
Most places where you need to work at height or confined space have an access issue – otherwise they would just be a normal working space – right?
If you are going to work in this space regularly, perhaps using a single place for a period of time, if you need a to able to recover a person and maybe support their weight whilst working… then you may need specialist equipment.
Fall arrest block (potentially with recovery mechanism) may be required.
Tripods can span a hole, offering a high anchor point, and the facility to add fall arrest blocks and winches for people and equipment to be raised or lowered.
Davits are an arm over a hole or open edge, allowing much greater movement, minimal manual handling once in use and greater stability
Full stretchers and rescue triangles for recovering casualties.
The person must be able to support themselves (hands and feet) – with a back up to recover them if an incident, such as a fall occurs.
If being lowered (or raised) – you must have a means of recovery (a back up) if the first system fails.
You need to consider what you are using them for (apart from just protecting your head!)
Materials, features, comfort, padding, adjustability, impact protection type (top and side) and whether it has a chin strap
These broadly fall into 3 categories
Karabiners – the type you see climbers use
Hooks – often used at the termination of a wire or lanyard to clip on to connection point on a harness or structure/object.
Mallions (or simply connectors) – these use a screwgate and have no moving parts.
Storage – bags, holdall and boxes (enough said!)
Both need to be checked, maintained and practiced with (especially the rescue kit) as this will be used the least, often in stressful situations.
Leading Edge (Task & some rescue)
Kit to allow safe working close to an open edge where a physical barrier isn’t possible. An adjustable work restraint system, anchor system and emergency lower if required.
Controlled Decent Device (Rescue)
Heard the term “fire and forget” (military term), well these are similar.
Very easy to use and set up. Once taught, it is easily remembered.
An out of the bag kit to provide flexible work restraint between 2 strong points
A self and colleague rescue backpack, worn semi permanently attached to your harness.
Twin line – raise and lower system (Task and Rescue)
Access systems to allow safe movement and recovery at height
Equipment Haul (Bespoke Task)
Lifting and lowering equipment in difficult situations
Most places where you need to work at height or in a confined space have an access issue – otherwise they would just be a normal working space – right?
Confined spaces need specialist equipment
Fall arrest block, tripods or davits for entry See access and entry
Half stretchers and rescue triangles for recovering casualties.
Confined spaces are incredibly dangerous places where things can go wrong very quickly. Ensuring you have the right training, procedures and equipment can reduce that risk significantly.
Basically stopping people or equipment from dropping to the ground.
Personal lanyards – usually made of webbing, connect a harness to an object with a connector, these can be
Tool Tethers – made of webbing or wire, connected to the tool and an anchor point