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Putting on a safety harness is one of the first steps required in the use of a personal fall arrest system. However, many mistakes can occur with this simple step. It is important to have workers trained in the proper use of a fall protection system and become familiar with the various hazards they will encounter. At Kennedy Wire & Sling Company, we provide fall protection harnesses and other devices to help you ensure the safety of your workers. Below we discuss how to use a safety harness and lanyard.

Proper Harness Usage

Harness inspection is the first step to properly use a harness. The device should be used with the thought that it is going to save your life when you wear it. It is important to check every strap of a harness for signs of deterioration or wear, as well as every plastic fitting, buckle, and grommet. Make sure to read the tag to find out the date of its last inspection. Orienting the safety harness and lanyard is done by holding the D ring (the one in the middle of your back if there are multiple the rings involved). As you allow the harness to hang, you can evaluate where the chest strap, shoulder straps, and leg straps are located. Moving to the leg straps (unless you are using a harness with grommets that you will secure later), place your feet through the leg straps, fasten them securely to the D ring and tighten them. Next, place the shoulder straps over your shoulders and then connect the chest strap. Have the harness checked by another person before taking the next step. This person should also identify any twists in the straps so that they can be eliminated – you do not want these twists in your harness straps.

Proper Lanyard Usage

Now you are ready to attach the lanyard. Make sure you know which lanyard you should use. You also need to know how high the anchor point is located above the lower level. You do not want to inadvertently allow the PFA to let you hit the lower level when it is fully deployed. After selecting the correct lanyard, make sure it is attached properly. If it has a deceleration device, that device must be attached to the D ring. If it is a retractable, the casing must be attached to the anchor point. You can wear the system either way if the lanyard looks like a bungee cord. However, you must make sure that the lanyard you are using has never been deployed. The above steps provide you with some clear direction on how to use a safety harness and lanyard. You must also follow any other specific steps and/or guidelines provided to you by the manufacturer or other applicable entities to ensure safety. For additional information about how we can help you with your fall protection needs, contact our team today at Kennedy Wire Rope & Sling Company.