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How To Use A Safety Harness

Updated on May 3, 2016

Safety First

Workers around the world rely on height safety equipment everyday. This article will help you understand more about how roof access equipment is manufactured, certified and used. This information is brought to you by professionals in the industry, but always consult a local professional in your area, as legislation may be different.

How Carabiners Are Made

Everyday individuals working at height trust their lives with the equipment they use. One of the smallest, yet vital pieces of equipments is a carabiner. Carabiners are used to link ropes and safety harnesses to anchor points. These small pieces of equipment are extremely strong yet still lightweight. So how are carabiners made?

Carabiners are made from one of the strongest alloys available. Using a blend of aluminium and zinc, this alloy is far stronger than each metal on their own. Crafted into long rods, just a bit thicker than what a carabiner ends up, the rod is cut up into pieces. The pieces are then heated up in an oven to 800 degrees celsius. This softens the alloy and allows it to be bent.

The unique D shape of the carabiner allows it to be easily used in one hand, but there is another vital reason why it is shaped in that fashion. The D shape allows all of the weight to be kept on the straight long side of the D. This allows the weaker side of the D to be used for clipping in.

Once the carabiner is bent into shape, the carabiner is heat treated to ensure maximum strength. After being baked in a furnace for 3 hours at 870 degrees Celsius, the carabiners are then dipped in a pool of cool water, to set the molecular shape. This process helps the molecules to bind together and ensures that there are no weak points, even at a microscopic level.

Carabiners need to be both strong and smooth. If there are any sharp edges, these could easily fray safety ropes, so the final steps are sanding and polishing the carabiners. Using a vibratory filled with wet stones, the rough edges are smoothed out of the carabiners. Then the carabiners are polished in vibratory of smooth metal beads and soapy water. This leaves the carabiners smooth to touch and ready to paint. Bright colours are often used for easy identification. The pivot rivet is inserted, and locking piece installed, which leaves the carabiner ready for action.

Before shipping the carabiner, extensive testing is performed. Each batch has strength testing to the point of breaking. Up to 6000 pounds of pressure is used until the carabiner snaps. This intense pressure testing ensures that the carabiners can withhold strength far beyond their recommended level. Each carabiner is also individually tested to make sure that it can hold the weight of a human before shipping.

Extensive research and design has made carabiners stronger and lighter than ever before, and the extensive testing means that you can trust your life with a carabiner when working on a hight safety system.

How To Use A Safety Harness

There are so many types of harnesses on the market that are specific to unique jobs but they all use the same safety principles. The first step when purchasing a harness is to make sure that its functions fit the use that you will be using it for. The next step is making sure that it is the right size. Each manufacturer has size charts that are very easy to use. All you have to know is your weight and height. On the chart find the harness size that corresponds with your height and weight.

How to put on a safety harness

Each safety harness is unique, so follow the manufactures instruction for the harness. Generally the first step is taking it out of the storage pouch and shaking the harness by the dorsal D-ring. Make sure that everything is straightened out and not twisted. If a strap is twisted when you put on your harness it will pinch your skin, causing great pain. Really try to avoid that.

If your harness has a waist buckle, then first hook that up. Then click the leg straps into place, followed by the chest straps. Most harnesses have quick connectors on the chest, if not they will have male/female or belt type connectors. Once all of the straps are connected, pull everything to make sure that it is snug against your skin. There should be no looseness felt, and the harness should not be swinging all over. Remember this is just a guide, always consult the manufacturers advice for your safety harness.

Fall Protection Basics

This a great introduction into fall protection basics. Very educational, corny in some parts, but great viewing.

Safety Harness Tip

It does not matter how advanced your height safety system is, if you have a loose, ill-fitting, or wrong harness for the job, then you are not protected. If your safety harness is loose, you can easily slide out, so it is important that you know how to establish if your safety harness is the correct size and fitting you correctly.

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