Safety harness

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Construction worker wearing a five-point synthetic webbing safety harness, attached at the waist via a lanyard, with a back-up safety line rigged to a loop on the rear of his harness at his shoulders

A safety harness is a form of protective equipment designed to safeguard the user from injury or death from falling.[1] The core item of a fall arrest system, the harness is usually fabricated from rope, braided wire cable, or synthetic webbing. It is attached securely to a stationary object directly by a locking device or indirectly via a rope, cable, or webbing and one or more locking devices.[2] Some safety harnesses are used in combination with a shock-absorbing lanyard, which is used to regulate deceleration and thereby prevent a serious G-force injury when the end of the rope is reached.

An unrelated use with a materially different arresting mechanism is bungee jumping. Though they share certain similar attributes, a safety harness is not to be confused with a climbing harness used for mountaineering, rock climbing, and climbing gyms. Specialized harnesses for animal rescue or transfer, as from a dock to a vessel, are also made.


In North America, safety harnesses designed for protection against falls from heights in industrial and construction activities are covered by performance standards issued by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in the United States and by CSA Group (formerly known as the Canadian Standards Association) in Canada. Specifically, the standards issued are ANSI Z359.1,[3] and CSA Z259.10.[4] These standards are updated approximately every four to five years.


There are four classes of fall protection systems:[5][failed verification]

  • Class 1

Body belts (single or double D-ring), designed to restrain a person in a hazardous work position, prevent a fall, or arrest it completely within 3 feet (90 cm) (OSHA).

  • Class 2

Chest harnesses, used only with limited fall hazards (including no vertical free fall), or for retrieving persons, as from a tank or bin.

  • Class 3

Full body harnesses, designed to arrest the most severe free falls.

  • Class 4

Suspension belts, independent supports used to suspend a worker, such as boatswain's chairs or raising or lowering harnesses.[6]

Other types[edit]

Other forms of safety harnesses include:


A video on the importance of fall protection in occupational settings

Occupations that may involve the use of safety harnesses include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Construction Safety Equipment Supplier - All You Need to Know". Retrieved 2022-12-06.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "ANSI / ASSP Z359 Fall Protection and Fall Restraint Standards". American Society of Safety Professionals. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2020. Purchase Our Z359 Standards
  4. ^ "CAN/CSA-Z259.10-12 (R2016) - Standards Council of Canada - Conseil canadien des normes". Standards Council of Canada. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  5. ^ "fall protection". Friday, 4 January 2019
  6. ^ "Fall Protection Information". Archived from the original on 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2017-03-17.

List of ppe suppliers, recommended sources. Retrieved 2023-02-23.

External links[edit]