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Nothing could be more important than having the right fall protection equipment when working high up off the ground. Your employees need to know that they will be safe if a fall should occur, but a full body safety harness can easily cause problems if it’s not installed correctly. The straps and hooks will pull tight against the wearer when they are floating in the air, which can lead to circulation issues, numbness, or fainting. Your employees should also be comfortable on the job without their fall arrest system getting in the way.

Use this guide to fit and adjust your equipment properly.

Putting on the Harness

To get started, grasp the harness by the central (dorsal) D-ring and shake it out to make sure that the straps are hanging straight and the harness is right side up. Take a moment to untangle the straps, if necessary.

Put your arms through the shoulder loops and leg straps. Both shoulder loops should be vertical and spread out evenly across the chest.

Attach the waist belt by inserting the male connector into the female connector. Do the same for each of the shoulder straps.

Adjusting the Harness

Once it’s on, make sure all straps are snug and pulled tight. Adjust the straps until the harness fits comfortably on the body. Make sure both leg straps have been secured properly.

Before you venture into the field, take a few moments to try out the fit. The harness should feel centered and snug without limiting your range of motion.

If there are any loose straps or buckles, use keepers or tie-down straps to keep them secure and out of the way, otherwise, these straps may get caught in moving parts or machinery.

Now that you’ve adjusted the personal fall arrest system, be sure to use anchorage points that hold up to 5,000 lbs. You and your crew may not weigh that much, but the force of a fall could cause some points to give way. Keep your buckles fastened at all times, even when you’re not up in the air, and remind your colleagues to do the same. There’s always a chance you could accidentally resume your position without reconnecting the straps.

Use this guide to make sure every member of your team knows how to properly fit and adjust their safety harness. Post these instructions around the worksite to keep everyone informed.