Which safety harness to choose?

The first rule in choosing the right fall protection harness is simple: It is the job (and the environment) that determines which harness you have to choose. This rule also impacts the usage of fall protection harnesses in general.

Although a harness is available that does not automatically make it the right choice. Working with the wrong fall protection safety harness at the wrong job will give you a false sense of security. This article is dedicated that you make the right choice and shows the ABC(D) of fall protection.

The job and the choice of harness

When choosing a harness you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is expected of you or your workers?
  • Where will they have to work, for example, do they have to work at the edge of a building?
  • Will they have to descend alongside the building facade (rope access) or in a constricted area?
  • What is the working environment like?
  • Do you have to work at sea or in conditions where heat is involved, such as welding?

Working situation and the job to perform may differ in many ways. There is no single fall protection harness that is suited for every situation, but there is always one that will fit to the specific needs of a particular job in a given setting.

Comfort of fall protection harnesses

Working at heights or in dangerous situations is strenuous by definition. Unfortunately, safety and comfort do not come in pairs working in these situations. But the right fall protection harness can supply the best possible comfort in any given situation. Another point to consider is the body weight and height of the worker.

Some fall protection harnesses are suited for all sizes of men and women, others are suited only up to sizes L. The maximum weight of the person is also an important factor, indicated for each harness. Most harnesses are suited for people up to 100 Kg and some go up to 136 Kg.


Which components are essential for fall protection?


The anchor is the secure attachment point that must support the person that is attached to it. Of course the anchor and the anchor connector must be 100% safe. There is a distinction between temporary anchor points and permanent anchor points. In many cases temporary anchor points are used in combination with fall protection harnesses, so the first concern will always be if this anchor point will give the necessary safety and support for the total load (person + tools used).

How does OSHA describe Anchorage?

OSHA defines an anchorage as a secure point of attachment for lifelines, lanyards or deceleration devices.  Anchorage connectors must be able to support the intended loads and provide a factor of safety for fall arrest.

Body Support

The B of Body Support stands for the level of body support a harness offers. In general a fall protection harness must give support to the complete body. There are differences in body support depending on the harness. For instance if a worker needs to have both hands free for the job to be done full body harnesses with extra support are recommended.


Connectors such as lanyards or lifelines make the connection between anchor point and harness. They are vital in keeping the worker safe and let him or her do the job that needs to be done. There are many connecting devices, hooks and locks such as karabiners to choose from.

Fall protection Rescue Plan

Descent and Rescue

In case of emergencies a suspended worker must be lowered or raised as soon as possible. In situations when workers need to be lowered in a confined space there also are many options to choose from. The right Descent & Rescue device depends on the job and situation. We offer tripods, retractable wire ropes and speed controlled Evacuation & Rescue devices to support and help workers in dangerous or emergency situations.

Fall Arrest or Fall Restraint Harness?

Although the words fall arrest harness and fall restraint harness are often used interchangeably they are completely different in use. A fall restraint harness is a harness that is attached to an anchor point which is secure and prevents a worker to reach a dangerous spot (for instance the edge of a roof).

With a fall arrest harness the harness is equipped with a one or more attachment points that are suited for restraint systems. A fall arrest harness is (in combination with the arrest system) to be used in situations that a fall is possible in which case the fall will be stopped by the arresting device.


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