Guest Post: Different Types of Harnesses to Prevent Falling Accidents

Safety is a topic that can never be covered enough. For all of those people who have stood at the top of an extension ladder, on a roof’s edge, or participated in setting floor joists or roof rafters, there is nothing quite like being armed with the right equipment in case of an accident. This is true whether you’re 6 feet off the ground, or 100 feet. Guest writer Eric Blair provides GBE with me useful information concerning safety harnesses and rigging.

When working on a jobsite or from a great height above the ground, it is imperative for a worker’s safety to properly use safety harnesses. Below are a few ways that safety harnesses are implemented on a jobsite.

Standard safety harness: If a worker is performing a task where he could fall 4 to 6 feet or more, a standard safety harness is required to prevent falls. This harness is a full-body harness made of synthetic material and certified for industrial use. Most full-body safety harnesses are made in a similar fashion. They have straps that fit around the shoulders, each leg, the chest and the waist. They also have a D-ring made of metal at shoulder height that works with a lanyard hook. This assures the worker’s safety in the event of a fall.

Lanyards: A lanyard is another aspect of harness safety that is imperative in preventing workplace falls. A lanyard is a flexible line that attaches on one end into the D-ring on the back of a standard harness. On the other end, the lanyard hooks onto a solid anchor point or a deceleration device. Lanyards usually contain shock absorbers that reduce the severity of the sudden stop when stopping a fall. It is important for lanyard lines to have a breaking strength of no less than 5,000 pounds.

Lifelines: A lifeline is a rope attached to both an anchor point and a worker’s safety equipment. There are two common ways to use lifelines. One is a vertical lifeline. This means each worker will use a rope grab. The second is a horizontal lifeline. This means the lifelines are attached between two anchor points. A worker can attach a lanyard right onto a horizontal lifeline. If a worker chooses this method, there is no need for a rope grab.

Rope grabs: Rope grabs are used as a connection between a worker and a vertical lifeline. It is a piece of equipment that fastens onto the rope and can move freely upward. It contains a ratchet to prevent it from falling down in the case of an accident. The worker connects the rope grab by attaching the snap hook on a lanyard using the rope grab’s metal loop.

It is so important that workers who work high off the ground use proper safety harnesses. Proper safety harnesses and their attachments can prevent a worker from experiencing serious injury, or even death, in the event of a fall.

Author Bio: Eric Blair writes about construction site and workplace safety equipment from

Photos: Flickr creative commons, Flickr creative commons