Safety harness

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                For safety reasons when working at height, wearing a harness is mandatory. The safety harness is part of the PPE, personal protective equipment, in the event of a fall. Indeed, the harness hooked to an anchor point constitutes an arrest system in the event of a fall. The safety harness is essential equipment in certain sectors of activity such as: building, green space, maintenance, cleanliness, cleaning, etc.

                Characteristics of a safety harness (Epi): anti-fall

                The safety harness is part of the personal protective equipment designed for all work at height ( on scaffolding, roofs or confined spaces). It is intended to arrest the fall and limit access to a risky area. It is composed, among other things, of straps made from synthetic materials. These encompass the torso, pass between the legs and hold the pelvis. The straps are adjustable via a buckle. On the harness, there are also rings for attaching to the safety rope.

                Working at height: the different types of mandatory safety harnesses

                For safety reasons when working at height, wearing a harness is mandatory, it constitutes an arrest system in the event of a fall. The safety harnesses have been designed to adapt to the morphology of the user in order to hold him during the fall and to better distribute his weight. They must meet strict security requirements, in particular NF EN 361 (see our guide). Manufacturers offer several models of harnesses to adapt to various situations:

                • The fall arrest harness with one or two points: this model offers a dorsal and/or sternal attachment point. The dorsal closure system is appropriate for people who must remain seated in a machine while wearing the harness. For those who work on ladders, it is better to turn to the harness with a sternal hook.
                • Therotating belt harness: this type of protective equipment is intended for people working on pylons. They can be turned safely while suspended.
                • The harness, vest or jacket: it is best suited for people who use them only occasionally, specifically visitors to construction sites.
                • The harness with padded shoulders: designed for optimal comfort, the straps are reinforced at the level.

                Use and regulations: How to choose your safety harness and which certification?

                Choosing a safety harness should not be taken lightly and must meet standards. A guarantee of safety and comfort, this equipment must be adapted to the needs of the user. To find yourself in view of the different models offered on the market, different points must be taken into account, starting with the safety classes. The EN 361 harness acts as a safety belt. It is not equipped with suspension and maintains in the event of a fall. For work positioning harnesses, it is better to opt for models that comply with EN 813 standards with a ventral attachment point or EN 358 with lateral attachment points.

                Note that safety harnesses meeting the EN 361 standard (with shoulder straps) are the regulatory and mandatory basis for working at height.

                The choice of attachment is an element to take into account when choosing a safety harness. In the event of a fall, a fall protection equipment with a dorsal or sternal attachment system does the job perfectly.

                • The lanyards must be equipped with energy absorbers
                • The fall arrester must comply with standard EN 353-2
                • The fall arrester must comply with standard EN 353-1 with a heatsink

                fall arrest accessories must be prohibited on side or central attachments , as shock can cause injury. In addition, the points are intended only for positioning at the workstation and for moving using a descender.

                How to inspect and check a safety harness?

                When inspecting your safety harness hardware, be sure to examine all items carefully. Start with buckles and D-rings to check for any signs of tampering or damage; then move on to the straps before checking the stitching and tags - which will tell you the age of that particular part based on its serial number, regardless of manufacturer.

                The harness should be inspected for signs of abrasion, mold and burns. If you notice any damage or discoloration, it is best to reject the equipment immediately, as even small holes can lead to serious injury if not repaired properly!

                How to attach, adjust and use a safety harness?

                To use your harness, 4 steps are essential:
                1- You must always start by checking the condition of the harness as well as checking its attachment points
                2- Then install the harness, again checking whether the attachment points are correctly positioned,
                3- Now all you have to do is adjust the harness and make your adjustments,
                4- Finally close the harness and you can carry out your activity.

                It is also very important to check that the anchor points are well fixed to avoid any accident.

                Lifespan: How to maintain and wash your safety harness?

                It is important to keep in mind that safety equipment, including harnesses, must be regularly inspected, cleaned, repaired if necessary and stored in the appropriate place . It is the responsibility of the head of the establishment to carry out or have carried out his verifications. As for the users, they are required to respect the conditions of use, storage and maintenance and to report those responsible in the event of non-compliance. Their safety is at stake.

                Wearing a safety harness is essential to prevent accidents related to work at height, and to provide protection against falls. A basic maintenance of this safety equipment contributes to the prolongation of its durability and its proper functioning. It is then necessary to regularly check the straps, the buckle and the rope. To clean this safety equipment, start by removing superficial dirt with a damp sponge. Rinse and then squeeze the sponge to release the water, and soak it in a solution of water and detergent. Rub the surface to be cleaned vigorously until a thick foam is obtained. Then rinse the straps with clear water and let them air dry.

                Like all personal protective equipment, the harness must be chosen according to the work and the user. Before use, the worker must ensure that the harness is:

                • Snug fit for freedom of movement
                • Maintained to guarantee its protective capacity
                • Has not been damaged

                It should be noted that when a safety harness has already fulfilled the role of fall arrest, whether it represents visible damage or not, it must be replaced in order to avoid the risks associated with a fall. Indeed, seams, rings, straps or other components of the harness may have been damaged.

                Where to buy a safety harness and accessories?

                For anyone working at height for safety reasons, the safety harness is mandatory. At Oxwork, we offer various harnesses and fall arrest accessories adapted to each need. The harness must be hooked to an anchor point and constitutes an arrest system in the event of a fall.

                We offer various accessories such as single lanyards with energy absorber, static ropes, automatic reels, connectors, carabiner, etc. For fall arrest safety harnesses, Oxwork offers various models ranging from 1 to 4 points.