Any time you're working at elevation, such as on a roof or a similar environment, it's important that you take the necessary steps to keep yourself safe and protected. You may think that you'll have plenty of time to regain your balance before you actually fall, but this isn't often the case. You may not have the opportunity to grab anything to keep yourself from falling. Luckily, there are some safety steps that you can take to protect yourself from falling. Here is a look at what you should know about safety harnesses and their benefit for working on roofs and at other elevations.
Understanding the Full Body Harness
Full body harnesses are one of the best investments for your personal safety when you're working on a roof. Full body harnesses include straps that will fit over your shoulders, around your legs and across the center of your chest. The design of the harness protects you by distributing the force of impact in a fall. The supportive straps add support, which can help to save you from serious injury if you should fall.
The Importance of Proper Structure
The right full body harness is essential for you to get the benefit of the full protection. The right harness will have a D-ring mounted on the back, between the shoulder blades. The straps should be reinforced on either side of the ring to provide added support.
Inspecting the Harness Condition
Every time you plan to wear or use the safety harness, you'll want to give it a thorough safety inspection. This is important, because it helps you identify any worn spots, frayed fabric, or other damage that could put your safety at risk. If you see any signs of damage on the harness, don't wear it.
Start by checking the condition of each of the buckles. Safety harnesses have friction buckles that interlock. Check each of the components of the buckle. If any of the pieces are cracked, bent or nicked, you'll want to replace them.
Check the condition of the webbing as well. If it's frayed, worn or cut, the harness isn't safe. Make sure that the stitching is intact, because the thread can wear easily as well.
The D-rings should be hardened steel and thick. The heavy weight is important, because it's part of the reinforcement for the harness security. Make sure that the rings are not bent, cracked or showing any other signs of physical damage.
Putting on the Harness
To get the full benefit of the full-body harness, you need to put it on correctly. Adjust the straps so that the harness fits snug around your legs but doesn't restrict your movement. Secure any loose straps so that you don't catch them on anything. Then, hook the harness to your safety line by clipping it to the D-ring.
Safety harnesses are the first line of defense to protect you in case you fall. With the tips here, you can do the work you need to without risking your own safety. Talk to a professional like Public Works Supply for more information.