People who work even a few feet off of the ground run the risk of suffering serious injuries in a fall. Fall harnesses may not make a fall any less likely, but they can help prevent catastrophic injuries or even death. You can take some steps to ensure that you receive the most benefit from your fall harness. Here are three things to do before your feet are off the ground.
1. Inspect your harness
When you’ve been doing a job for a long enough time, you tend to perform tasks without really thinking about them. You’re likely to simply grab your harness and get on with the task at hand. However, like all pieces of equipment, harnesses break down over time.
Take a few minutes to look over your harness before you put it on. Look for tears, frays, and missing components. This step is even more crucial if other people also use the harness.
2. Ensure the harness fits you snugly
This may seem obvious, but when you’re in a hurry, you may simply put your equipment on without paying much attention to how well it fits. Again, this is even more essential if the harness is a shared piece of equipment. If the person who used the harness before you is a half-foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than you, the harness is not going to fit you properly without some adjustment.
3. Take time to consider your anchor point
Your harness is only as effective as the anchor point to which it’s attached. OSHA standards state that an anchor point must be capable of taking 5,000 pounds of force in a fall. This standard is meant per person, not per anchor.
Injuries can still occur
Even if you apply the above tips every time you put on your safety harness, you can still be injured in a fall. You should discuss your options with a skilled professional. You may be eligible to recover benefits through workers’ compensation.