OH&S Magazine Spotlight: The Complexities of Achieving Comfort in Fall Protection Harnesses

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Fall protection equipment is critically important to help keep workers safe while working-at-height. But, while today’s fall protection equipment user understands the need to use a full body harness, they also seem to have an unquenchable thirst for comfort from their harness.

Therefore, harness manufactures have tried to keep the necessary safety components intact while addressing comfort in many ways. Harnesses have evolved from feedback of end users and some of the complaints workers have about harnesses have been addressed.

For instance, over time, there have been a multitude of changes, including adding padding, refining the padding, adding stretch and pivot points, and addressing the overall fit. These improvements, along with enhanced hardware resulted in a category of harness known as the “comfort harness”. Comfort harnesses have been around for more than 20 years.

Nevertheless, despite all these welcome changes, complaints regarding harness weight have persisted. Additionally, the popularity of personal self-retracting lanyards (SRLs) have added weight to many workers’ harnesses in the dorsal D-ring area.

But now, what’s next in the evolution of safety and comfort to address this concern? Learn more about how a weight distribution system (WDS) was developed to transfer the weight from the dorsal D-ring area to the hips by reading the article, “The Complexities of Achieving Comfort in Fall Protection Harnesses”, in the June 2020 edition of Occupation Health & Safety magazine, by Jason Giefer, senior technical engineer from the 3M Fall Protection team at the Personal Safety Division.

Discover more about the benefits of this invention and why proper training on using fall protection equipment is essential to creating a comfortable and safe environment for those who are tasked with working at height.

Read our article on OH&S magazine and for help selecting appropriate fall protection personal protective equipment, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our safety specialists today.