It doesn't seem like a big deal. Just put the damn thing on right? Partially right. Properly donning a harness can mean the difference between life and getting totally jacked up. Take a look at our quick step by step guide and learn the proper way to put on a fall protection safety harness.
1. Inspect Harness The first step is to inspect your safety harness for wear & tear. Make sure all of the webbing is intact and the hardware isn't bent, damaged, or cracked. This step is easier to do with your harness off. I tried it with the harness on once and I looked like a jackass and wasn't very thorough. Make sure you take the time to do this step. In the next week or so, we'll have a feature on inspecting your harness, so make sure to stop back and check that out.
2. Back D-Ring Next, grab your harness by the back D-ring (dorsal D-ring). Make sure it's not a side D-ring. Once you've found it, shake the hell out of the harness so all of your straps dangle below. This will help you detangle your harness and you'll begin to see it take shape. If any of your buckles are buckled, unbuckle them. I think I just set the record for saying a form of the word buckle in one sentence.
3. Shoulder Straps After shaking the blue hell out of your harness, locate the shoulder straps. Slide into them like you're putting on a jacket or suspenders. Make sure that none of the webbing is twisted. It should lay flat when properly worn. I think that about covers that.
4. Leg Straps Next, you'll want to grab the straps hanging between your legs. I said straps, not strap, smart ass. Pull each strap between your leg and connect it. Note: Make sure that the leg strap webbing is not tangled. If it is, and you fall, your nuts are going to get the pinch of a lifetime. Yeow. In this step, you'll also want to tighten your leg straps and tuck the excess webbing into the leg strap holders. You don't want these dangling while you work.
5. Chest Buckle Leg strap's connected to the chest strap... No, it isn't, but after you finish connecting your leg straps, you'll move onto your chest buckle. All you do is buckle it and tighten it. No more, no less. Hook the damn thing up and move onto the next step.
6. Waist Buckle (If Applicable) If your harness has a waist buckle. Now would be the time to buckle it. If you've spent any time in your life wearing a belt, this step shouldn't be too difficult. Again make sure to tuck in extra webbing and strap so it doesn't interfere with your work. Moving on.
7. Adjust Fit Now that your harness is on and the buckles are connected and fastened, look over your harness. Make sure that all of the straps are adjusted. You want your harness to be snug, but not tight. You don't want it restricting your movement. HOWEVER, a loose a harness will seriously mess you up or kill you in a fall. The visual of somebody slipping out of a harness may seem funny, like a watermelon falling through a wet paper towel, but it isn't. Make sure your harness fits securely to your body.
8. Work Your Ass Off Finally, with your harness on, it's time to bust your ass and get to work. We're not paying you to stand around playing with and adjusting yourself.
Once you get used to doing this, it doesn't take long, but doing it (and doing it properly) is key. Follow these steps and you'll be safe. Keep an eye out for our instructional video about this, and our upcoming post about inspecting your harness.