Your specific job in the oil industry is going to determine what features a harness needs to best suit your work. However oil rig and derrick workers that live in their harnesses all day every day will also want certain features above and beyond the minimal requirements of safety.
First of all, make sure you have a harness that fits well. It seems obvious, but good adjustment points allow for fine tuning. Your harness should fit like a good pair of jeans – comfortable and not too tight. Every body is a little different so look for a harness that has adjustment on the legs, torso and across the chest so you can get just the right fit.
We also recommend harnesses that come with quick-connect buckles for the leg straps so that getting suited up doesn’t require re-adjustment each time.
If you wear your harness daily, look for a model that has padding on the shoulders, legs and hips to keep the pressure off and provide extra comfort while working. These pads are often built-in to avoid slipping. The best padding will have some type of breathable lining between you and the pad to keep moisture away from your body and allow you to stay dry. In addition to the padding, the underlying webbing straps should also be of high quality and be flexible and softer while still being strong.
Derrick harnesses have 18 in. extensions to the dorsal D-ring, and a D-ring at the back of the derrick belt for monkey board work where fall restraint is needed when leaning over the abyss and tripping pipe. Additionally, the derrick belt attachment also has a belly board with attachment rings for easy, hands-free positioning.
Another important harness option is the seat support offered by a sub-pelvic strap. This nylon strap goes between the two leg straps giving your behind something to land on in case of a fall. It helps you avoid a situation where the force of a fall pulls your legs up and apart. This can be extremely uncomfortable and is known as the “wishbone”.
You also need to think about being able to wash your harness. Oil rigs will make your gear filthy in no time flat. Make sure you’ve got a harness that can be cleaned and possibly look for harness materials that are resistant to stain, dirt and grime.
At PK Safety we sell several different models of oil rig harnesses. Check out our Offshore Oil Rig Safety Equipment page for more oil rig safety gear.