Safety harness

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Construction worker wearing a five-point synthetic webbing safety harness, attached at the waist via a lanyard, with a back-up safety line rigged to a loop on the rear of his harness at his shoulders Harness - 01.jpg
Construction worker wearing a five-point synthetic webbing safety harness, attached at the waist via a lanyard, with a back-up safety line rigged to a loop on the rear of his harness at his shoulders

A safety harness is a form of protective equipment designed to safeguard the user from injury or death from falling. [1] The core item of a fall arrest system, the harness is usually fabricated from rope, braided wire cable, or synthetic webbing. It is attached securely to a stationary object directly by a locking device or indirectly via a rope, cable, or webbing and one or more locking devices. [2] Some safety harnesses are used in combination with a shock-absorbing lanyard, which is used to regulate deceleration and thereby prevent a serious G-force injury when the end of the rope is reached.


An unrelated use with a materially different arresting mechanism is bungee jumping. Though they share certain similar attributes, a safety harness is not to be confused with a climbing harness used for mountaineering, rock climbing, and climbing gyms. Specialized harnesses for animal rescue or transfer, as from a dock to a vessel, are also made.


In North America, safety harnesses designed for protection against falls from heights in industrial and construction activities are covered by performance standards issued by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in the United States and by CSA Group (formerly known as the Canadian Standards Association) in Canada. Specifically, the standards issued are ANSI Z359.1, [3] and CSA Z259.10. [4] These standards are updated approximately every four to five years.


There are four classes of fall protection systems: [5] [ failed verification ]

Body belts (single or double D-ring), designed to restrain a person in a hazardous work position, prevent a fall, or arrest it completely within 3 feet (90 cm) (OSHA).

Chest harnesses, used only with limited fall hazards (including no vertical free fall), or for retrieving persons, as from a tank or bin.

Full body harnesses, designed to arrest the most severe free falls.

Suspension belts, independent supports used to suspend a worker, such as boatswain's chairs or raising or lowering harnesses. [6]

Other types

Other forms of safety harnesses include:


A video on the importance of fall protection in occupational settings

Occupations that may involve the use of safety harnesses include:

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carabiner</span> Shackle with a spring-loaded gate

A carabiner or karabiner, often shortened to biner, colloquially known as (climbing) clip, is a specialized type of shackle, a metal loop with a spring-loaded gate used to quickly and reversibly connect components, most notably in safety-critical systems. The word is a shortened form of Karabinerhaken, a German phrase for a "spring hook" used by a carbine rifleman, or carabinier, to attach his carabin to a belt or bandolier.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scuba set</span> Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus

A scuba set, originally just scuba, is any breathing apparatus that is entirely carried by an underwater diver and provides the diver with breathing gas at the ambient pressure. Scuba is an anacronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. Although strictly speaking the scuba set is only the diving equipment that is required for providing breathing gas to the diver, general usage includes the harness by which it is carried, and those accessories which are integral parts of the harness and breathing apparatus assembly, such as a jacket or wing style buoyancy compensator and instruments mounted in a combined housing with the pressure gauge, and in the looser sense, it has been used to refer to all the diving equipment used by the scuba diver, though this would more commonly and accurately be termed scuba equipment or scuba gear. Scuba is overwhelmingly the most common underwater breathing system used by recreational divers and is also used in professional diving when it provides advantages, usually of mobility and range, over surface supplied diving systems, and is allowed by the relevant legislation and code of practice.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bungee jumping</span> Activity that involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord

Bungee jumping, also spelled bungy jumping, is an activity that involves a person jumping from a great height while connected to a large elastic cord. The launching pad is usually erected on a tall structure such as a building or crane, a bridge across a deep ravine, or on a natural geographic feature such as a cliff. It is also possible to jump from a type of aircraft that has the ability to hover above the ground, such as a hot-air-balloon or helicopter. The thrill comes from the free-falling and the rebound. When the person jumps, the cord stretches and the jumper flies upwards again as the cord recoils, and continues to oscillate up and down until all the kinetic energy is dissipated.

Climbing protection are mechanical man-made devices employed to reduce the risk and effect of a fall to climbers while rock or ice. It includes such items as nylon webbing and metal nuts, cams, bolts, and pitons.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Climbing harness</span>

A climbing harness is a device which allows a climber access to the safety of a rope. It is used in rock and ice climbing, abseiling, and lowering; this is in contrast to other activities requiring ropes for access or safety such as industrial rope work, construction, and rescue and recovery, which use safety harnesses instead.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hard hat</span> Helmet type

A hard hat is a type of helmet predominantly used in workplace environments such as industrial or construction sites to protect the head from injury due to falling objects, impact with other objects, debris, rain, and electric shock. Suspension bands inside the helmet spread the helmet's weight and the force of any impact over the top of the head. A suspension also provides space of approximately 30 mm between the helmet's shell and the wearer's head, so that if an object strikes the shell, the impact is less likely to be transmitted directly to the skull. Some helmet shells have a mid-line reinforcement ridge to improve impact resistance. The rock climbing helmet fulfills a very similar role in a different context and has a very similar design.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Steel-toe boot</span> Footwear reinforcement

A steel-toe boot is a durable boot or shoe that has a protective reinforcement in the toe which protects the foot from falling objects or compression. Safety shoes are effective in keeping the feet of industrial workers safe from sharp and heavy objects while working in factories.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Webbing</span> Strong fabric woven as a flat strip or tube used instead of rope

Webbing is a strong fabric woven as a flat strip or tube of varying width and fibres, often used in place of rope. It is a versatile component used in climbing, slacklining, furniture manufacturing, automobile safety, auto racing, towing, parachuting, military apparel, load securing, and many other fields.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rock-climbing equipment</span> List of manmade gear

Rock-climbing equipment requires a range of specialized sports equipment, for training, for aid climbing, and for free climbing. Developments in rock-climbing equipment played an important role in the history of rock climbing, enabling climbers to ascend more difficult climbing routes safely, and materially improving the strength, conditioning, and ability of climbers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Buoyancy compensator (diving)</span> Equipment for controlling the buoyancy of a diver

A buoyancy compensator (BC), also called a buoyancy control device (BCD), stabilizer, stabilisor, stab jacket, wing or adjustable buoyancy life jacket (ABLJ), depending on design, is a type of diving equipment which is worn by divers to establish neutral buoyancy underwater and positive buoyancy at the surface, when needed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Surface-supplied diving</span> Underwater diving breathing gas supplied from the surface

Surface-supplied diving is diving using equipment supplied with breathing gas using a diver's umbilical from the surface, either from the shore or from a diving support vessel, sometimes indirectly via a diving bell. This is different from scuba diving, where the diver's breathing equipment is completely self-contained and there is no link to the surface. The primary advantages of conventional surface supplied diving are lower risk of drowning and considerably larger breathing gas supply than scuba, allowing longer working periods and safer decompression. Disadvantages are the absolute limitation on diver mobility imposed by the length of the umbilical, encumbrance by the umbilical, and high logistical and equipment costs compared with scuba. The disadvantages restrict use of this mode of diving to applications where the diver operates within a small area, which is common in commercial diving work.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diving weighting system</span> Ballast carried by underwater divers and diving equipment to counteract excess buoyancy

A diving weighting system is ballast weight added to a diver or diving equipment to counteract excess buoyancy. They may be used by divers or on equipment such as diving bells, submersibles or camera housings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Backplate and wing</span> Type of back-mount scuba harness

A backplate and wing is a type of scuba harness with an attached buoyancy compensation device (BCD) which establishes neutral buoyancy underwater and positive buoyancy on the surface. Unlike most other BCDs, the backplate and wing is a modular system, in that it consists of separable components. The core components of this system are:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sidemount diving</span> Diving using equipment configuration where scuba sets are clipped to the divers sides

Sidemount is a scuba diving equipment configuration which has scuba sets mounted alongside the diver, below the shoulders and along the hips, instead of on the back of the diver. It originated as a configuration for advanced cave diving, as it facilitates penetration of tight sections of cave, allows easy access to cylinder valves, provides easy and reliable gas redundancy, and tanks can be easily removed when necessary. These benefits for operating in confined spaces were also recognized by divers who conducted technical wreck diving penetrations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fall arrest</span> Equipment which safely stops a person already falling

Fall arrest is the form of fall protection which involves the safe stopping of a person already falling. It is one of several forms of fall protection, forms which also include fall guarding and fall restraint.

American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), formerly known as American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) until June 2018, is a global organization of more than 37,000 occupational safety and health (OSH) professional members who manage, supervise, research and consult on work-related OSH concerns in all industries, government and education. The Society's members use risk-based approaches to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Potable water diving</span> Underwater diving in potable water systems

Potable water diving is diving inside a tank that is used for potable water. This is usually done for inspection and cleaning tasks. A person who is trained to do this work may be described as a potable water diver. The risks to the diver associated with potable water diving are related to the access, confined spaces and outlets for the water. The risk of contamination of the water is managed by isolating the diver in a clean dry-suit and helmet or full-face mask which are decontaminated before the dive.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diving equipment</span> Equipment used to facilitate underwater diving

Diving equipment is equipment used by underwater divers to make diving activities possible, easier, safer and/or more comfortable. This may be equipment primarily intended for this purpose, or equipment intended for other purposes which is found to be suitable for diving use.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jackstay</span> Substantial line between two points used to guide or support.

A jackstay is a cable or bar between two points to support and guide a load between those points, or as an anchor to attach something to be constrained along that line. The term is mostly used in a marine context and originated on sailing ships. Note the use of "stay" implies load bearing working rigging. In diving it is also a line to guide the movements of a diver between the endpoints.


  1. "Construction Safety Equipment Supplier - All You Need to Know" . Retrieved 2022-12-06.
  3. "ANSI / ASSP Z359 Fall Protection and Fall Restraint Standards". American Society of Safety Professionals. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020. Purchase Our Z359 Standards
  4. "CAN/CSA-Z259.10-12 (R2016) - Standards Council of Canada - Conseil canadien des normes". Standards Council of Canada. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  5. "fall protection". Friday, 4 January 2019
  6. "Fall Protection Information". Archived from the original on 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2017-03-17.

List of ppe suppliers, recommended sources. Retrieved 2023-02-23.