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Body Support – ABC’s of Fall Protection

What we mean by “Body Support” is: any fall protection equipment which is worn directly by the worker. This type of equipment is responsible for maintaining the worker’s weight and position.

Full body harnesses equally distribute the forces of a fall throughout the shoulders, thighs, chest and pelvis. All fall arrest harnesses include a dorsal (back) d-ring for connecting to an anchor.

Harnesses can include additional D-rings to help with positioning, retrieval/decent or ladder climbing. Harnesses are the only acceptable form of personal fall arrest and can vary based on who you are what what you intend to do with your harness.

Two types of Body Support

Body support can come in the form of a harness, body belt or work-seat.

A body belt is ideal when there is 0% CHANCE OF FREE-FALL and a harness is ideal when that chance of fall exists. A work-seat MUST be used with a full-body harness.

Full Body Harnesses

Honestly, a harness is usually the single most important decision you can make when building your personal fall arrest system (PFAS).

The right harness will improve productivity and boost morale. They come in many flavors based on your application and industry.

Body Belts & Work-seats

A fall protection belt is ideally for positioning, restraining or other situations with 0% chance of a free-fall.

Work-seats and slings are useful for inspection work, window washing and other maintenance.


Choosing the right type of Harness

There are five main categories of harnesses, they include:

General Fall Arrest

All harnesses rated for personal fall arrest will include a back D-ring; this is enough for general fall arrest.

Ladder Climbing

Ladder climbing harnesses include a front d-ring which allows for permanent connection to a ladder.

Work Positioning

Work positioning harnesses include a side D-ring on each hip which are used with positioning lanyards to suspend the worker and allow use of both hands.

Confined Space – Entry/Rescue

Entry and Rescue harnesses have a D-ring on each shoulder, keeping the wearer upright while in confined spaces.

Descent & Suspension

These harnesses usually have a front D-ring that interacts with decent controls.

Specialty Harnesses

These include arc-flash, mining, oil & gas, reflective, Personal Flotation Devices and other unique styles of personal fall arrest.


3M Fall Protection Full Body Harnesses

3M Fall Protection (formerly Capital Safety DBI-SALA) a harness for whatever your needs. From the economical full body harnesses for general fall arrest to the specialized equipment build for tower climbers; we’ve got the harness for you.

ExoFit STRATA

Lightweight harnesses ideal for those using personal SRL’s.

ExoFit NEX™

Gets an ‘A+’ when it comes to: comfort, function and durability.

ExoFit™ XP

Designed to maximize comfort. These harnesses include removable shoulder/back pad for easy washing.

ExoFIT™

The ORIGINAL comfort harness.

Delta™

Durable, convenient and comfortable.

PRO™

Performance + Safety at an unbeatable value.

First™

Reliable fall protection at an economical value.


Choosing the right body belt or work-seat

There are a number of categories to consider when choosing the right body belt or work-seat for you:

Work positioning

Work positioning belts include a side D-ring on each hip which will hold and sustain the worker in a specific location.

Restraint

Restraint belts feature a single back D-ring which contains a worker within a specified area.

Restraint belts are typically used to protect leading edges and concrete work construction.

Back & Tool Support

Typically these belts are built to provide greater back support and offer more tool storage on the go.

While these belts sometime feature extra D-rings, they usually improve worker comfort and provide a spot to attach tools and equipment.

Suspension Work-seats

Suspension work-seats are designed to hold and sustain a worker without ANY POSSIBILITY of a free fall.

Work-seats cannot be used alone, must be paired with separate harness & backup lifeline.


3M Fall Protection Body Belts & Work-seats

There are a number of different-type and sized body belts for fall protection:

Tongue-buckle Belts

Easy to fit and can accommodate a large variety of sizes, shapes and clothing options.

Lineman Belts

Specifically designed by linemen for linemen. Designed to provide comfort, freedom of movement and be easy-to-use for most pole-climbing applications.

Derrick Belts

For those working on monkey or tubing board, they are designed to attach to a variety of derrick-style harnesses and feature front rings for use with a positioning lanyard.

Mining Belts

Specifially designed for use in mining applications and usually include straps that hold batteries for helmet lights.

Work Seats

Work-seats or “Bosun chairs” have come a long way and are now available in many styles– from web-sling seats to rigid applewood seats.


Learn more about the ABC’s of Fall Protection

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