How to Correctly Fit and Don a Harness

Correctly Fitting a Harness Falls are the leading cause of fatalities and injuries investigated by OSHA, and taking the time to properly fit and don a harness before accessing a jobsite can save lives. In addition to complying with OSHA standards, a quality harness can ensure that the worker is prepared in case the worst happens. Spider offers a range of high quality fall arrest harnesses and has nearly seven decades of fall protection expertise to help keep your crews safe on the jobsite.

Correctly Fitting a Harness to the Worker
A fall arrest harness should fit as comfortably as clothing so that it does not hinder movement. However, it should also fit snugly so that the worker cannot easily slip out of it. ANSI standard Z359.1-1992 mandates that any fall protection harness should provide full support for the body across the lower chest, over the shoulders, across the thighs, and is properly fitted to prevent a fall-out.

Measurements – Spider’s fall arrest harnesses are designed to fit to the waist with adjustable shoulder, thigh, and chest straps.

Fall Arrest Harness Size Chart
Harness Size Waist Measurement
Small/Medium 34 – 44 in. (864 – 1,118 mm)
Large/X-Large 42 – 50 in. (1,067 – 1,270 mm)
XX-Large 48 – 56 in. (1,219 – 1,422 mm)

Belt Size Waist Measurement
Small/Medium 33 – 45 in. (838 – 1,143 mm)
Large/X-Large 33 – 45 in. (838 – 1,143 mm)
XX-Large 38 – 50 in. (965 – 1,270 mm)

Inspecting a Fall Arrest Harness
Harnesses should be inspected carefully each time they are used, and should be thoroughly examined by a trained inspector at least once every three months.

Inspect the harness material. Hold the material/webbing in an inverted “U” with the body side toward the body and hands 6 in. (152 mm) apart. Inspect the entire length, looking for frayed edges, broken fibers, pulled stitches, cuts or chemical damage. Broken strands appear as tufts on the webbing surface. Broken, cut or burned stitches are easily seen.

Inspect buckles and D-rings. Make sure both are firmly attached. Inspect condition of D-ring and metal wear pads. Buckle tongues should be undamaged, overlap the buckle frame, and move freely back and forth. The roller should turn freely on the frame. Look for sharp edges. On friction buckles, make sure outer and center bars are straight. Pay particular attention to corners and attachment points of the center bar. On sliding bar buckles, inspect the frame and sliding bar for cracks, distortion, or sharp edges. The bar should glide freely. Pay special attention to the corners and ends of the sliding bar.

Check belt ends to make sure grommets are still in place. Belts with grommet-less holes should be checked for torn or elongated holes.

How to Correctly Don a Spider Fall Arrest Harness
Wearing a fall arrest harness correctly is just as important as wearing it in the first place.

1. Hold the harness by the back D-ring. Shake it gently to allow the straps to fall into place.
2. If chest, leg, and/or waist straps are buckled, release the straps and unbuckle.
3. Slip the straps over the shoulder so the D-ring is located in the middle of the back, precisely between the shoulder blades.
4. Pull the leg straps between the legs and connect to the opposite end. Repeat with the second leg strap. If the harness is belted, buckle the waist strap.
5. Connect the chest strap and position it in mid-chest area, tightening to keep shoulder straps taut.
6. After all straps have been buckled, tighten all buckles so the harness fits snugly but allows full range of movement. Pass excess strap through the loop keepers.

Spider offers a full range of harnesses designed for every at-height work situation. Contact us at 877-774-3370 to request more information or to discuss your needs with one of our service representatives. Or, visit us at any of our 25 service and rental locations for a consultation.

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