There are more women performing work that requires personal protective equipment (PPE) than ever before. A 1999 OSHA report stated that poorly fitting safety gear did not function properly nor provide the intended protection. While the situation has improved in the past 13 years, there still are relatively few full-body work harnesses that fit most women well.
There are some options that are better than others, and our female customers have let us know which harnesses in particular are the best fit for them.
Every body is different. That goes for men too. So these recommendations aren't going to be perfect for everyone. However, there are a few design components that our women climbers and at height workers seem to prefer.
Playtex made a mint starting in the early 70s with their "Cross-Your-Heart Bras", and there may be something to that design that translates into a fall protection harness comfort for women. The ExoFit NEX Cross-Over Harness is one that is consistently mentioned as one that is comfortable for women.
The NEX line of harnesses from DBI-SALA come in sizes X-Small to XX-Large, are light-weight, and have premium padding and quick-dry materials. They are an excellent choice for women who need to wear a harness on a regular basis, and want to have quality equipment.
Another good choice for gals working at height are the Delta Cross-Over Style Harnesses. More economical compared with the NEX cross-over, the Delta harness is a utilitarian harness that still provides good adjustment and fit.
One more option that is popular among women climbers is the Petzl AVAO BOD Work Positioning Harness. The leg and shoulder straps distribute the weight evenly across the body while the straps in front gather together and are connected with a central carabiner which may provide greater comfort for some women users. This harness is designed for rope access work and works well in energy and network job situations.
If you have questions about specific harnesses or other climbing and at height gear on our site, please don't hesitate to call us or chat with us online at pksafety.com.