Have you ever just walked across a street where construction is on-going and wondered why the people working there are dressed the way they are. I personally never gave it much thought until just recently, when I talked with one of the people working on a new building across my office, and he gave me a pretty lengthy and detailed explanation. Apparently there’s this OSHA organisation – whose main concern is the safety and health of the people working in such industrial settings that enforces these rules.
So after I went on my way, I was intrigued and went online to learn more about this rescue rigging equipment online, and found out that there are a lot of things that have been taken into account when making the rules on what should and what shouldn’t be used in these industrial settings.
When it comes to the harness, what kind of it will a certain worker wear, depends on his job tasks, the work environment and even on the fact whether the harbess will be shared or not among various employees. Generally, rescue rigging equipment is application driven and there are special pieces of equipment made to meet the task and regulatory requirements in a wide array of environments and applications. These include tower climbing, wind energy, gas and oil, mobile skywalk, riding and hoisting, electrical and iron working, etc.
Environmental conditions also play a role in determining whether a certain specialty harness is suitable for a certain job. For example, plyurethane-coated harnesses are more easily maintained and cleaned, extending their life when used in extreme work environments, like oil-field work, painting or tar roofing.
The same goes for the individual wearing the harness – they play a significant factor because harnesses come in different sizes, but there are also universally sized ones which have 5 points of adjustability. To ensure there is an appropriate harness size for every worker, managers need to have XS, XL and XXL harnesses available to them in addition to the universal sizes of S, M and L.
So contrary to my initial belief, these harnesses are much more specialised than I originally thought. They’re not something you could buy in a local gadget store and it’s best you go through the OSHA rules and regulations and assess the situation you’re working in before buying the wrong harness and put yourself at risk. And by all means, don’t think that mountaineering and rock climbing fall safety gear can be applied in industrial settings, that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Inform yourself for the sake of your safety.