It doesn’t matter if you have a 1 or a 6 d-ring harness. Construction, Tower, Oil and Gas, or even a rock climbing sport harness... If your harness doesn’t fit correctly, you’re gonna have a bad time.
An ill-fitting harness isn’t just unsafe; it’s probably uncomfortable as well. If you’re wearing your harness correctly, you really shouldn’t even notice that it’s there after a while. You get used to it. If you have a harness that’s digging in, pinching, or rubbing in a certain area, there’s a good chance you’re wearing it wrong.
The most common problem with harness fit that we see is the chest strap. A lot of climbers wear it too low. It should fit straight across your chest, nipple to nipple. If it’s too low, you could roll out of the harness when your shoulder strap slips. Too high and it’ll ride up under your chin and either choke you or give you a nasty cut.
Next big issue is the leg straps. You REALLY want these to be tight on your legs. Wearing them loose might seem like it gives you more room to move around, but in the event of a fall.. BAD THINGS HAPPEN! If your leg straps are tight, during a fall they’ll grab onto your legs and catch the majority of the weight. If they’re loose, they’ll slide up your legs, and whatever they hit will absorb the energy. If you know… what we mean. Yeah… not good!
Check out our How to Don and Fit Your Harness video to see a step-by-step of putting on and properly adjusting your harness.
Even if you’ve been working in your harness for a while, it’d be worth a once-over to make sure it’s still fitting like it was designed to. If you have any other questions about harness fit, or aren’t sure what size harness you need, give us a call or chat us online!
Elk River’s Peregrine Tower Harness Series has all of the bells and whistles you could need in a tower harness. A few different harnesses make up the Peregrine line.
The Peregrine Platinum is one of the lightest harnesses on the market. This six D-Ring harness has a standup aluminum D-ring on the back, plus two aluminum D-rings on the hips and seat. The smaller chest attachment point is steel. Breathable padding on back, shoulders and waist keep you cool and comfortable. The Peregrine Platinum has a quick-connect chest and tongue buckle waist. Choose between quick connect or tongue buckle leg straps.
The Elk River 67630 Peregrine Platinum RAS has all of the great features of the Peregrine Platinum, but with an adjustable, removable seat. This popular harness has exceptional fit, and is ideal for all day comfort. See the Peregine Platinum RAS here.
WestFall Professional’s gear is designed to meet and exceed the most stringent of industry standards. Their Ascend Tower Harness, for instance, stands toe-to-toe with some of the most popular harnesses on the market, at a fraction of the price. What if I told you, you can get a tricked out, aluminum harness for the cost of a basic steel belt from other brands? Is that something you might be interested in?
Beyond their harnesses, they bring a nice selection of hardware to the safety table. They have carabiners in many shapes and styles, all ANSI rated of course. Oh, you need a spreader bar or positioning kit to go on your shiny new Ascend? Westfall can save you some cash on that as well. But don’t worry… it’s just as functional and safe as others on the market.
Ever heard of Weld-Lok Technology? WestFall Pro uses it to make their capstan mount even stronger than standard straight mounts. This puppy is designed and made in the USA and it’s load rated at 1,000 lbs.
Miller Fall Protection has been in the at-height solutions game for over 65 years. They provide harnesses, anchorage, ladder climbing systems, confined space and rescue devices, fall protection training, and engineered solutions to keep workers safe.
Their AirCore line of harnesses are designed to keep you cool and comfortable. They take all of the bulky, stuffy padding that many harnesses use and throw it out. Miller believes that comfort comes from being lightweight, and breathable. Because they have reduced padding, the harnesses bring the airflow to reduce heat and moisture. The Tower Climbing Harness has quick connect chest and leg straps and a removable tongue-buckle belt. Check out our video above to see more.
The Manyard series of shock-absorbing lanyards are also popular. They have version which have internal shock absorbers, as well as SofStop Shock Absorbers. They’re available in a variety of connection types, choose from snap hooks and carabiners to rebar hooks in steel and aluminum. They’re also available in both single and twin leg styles.
Ideally, falls don’t happen. But in the event that one does, let’s hope the worker was wearing and using proper fall protection. And let’s also hope that the crew they were working with has been trained to properly rescue a suspended worker.
If you’re using fall protection, but aren’t properly trained for rescue, and don’t have a rescue plan, you’re only doing half of the job. They’re equally important! And a rescue plan can’t just be call 9-1-1. Often times Fire and EMS workers are not trained for situations that a suspended worker can be in. Or, the station may not even be close enough to safely get the worker down in time. In a rescue, seconds can make a difference.
Yeah, yeah… we’ve touched on suspension trauma in the past, but it’s a big deal, so we’re doing it again. Suspension trauma can cause potentially serious health issues in as little as 12 to 15 minutes. Blood pools in the legs when hanging in a harness. This can deprive the brain, kidneys, and other organs of oxygen. It’s important to monitor a suspended worker for faintness, nausea, breathlessness, dizziness, unusually low heart rate or blood pressure, paleness, or greying or loss of vision. These are all symptoms that they may be in serious danger. Trauma straps are simple, lightweight, and can prevent a lot of the problems from hanging in suspension.
As for the rescue itself… no two rescues are alike. Take a moment and assess the situation. Can the worker be reached by a bucket, or ladder truck? Is the person conscious or unconscious? How’s the worker suspended? Is there something below the person to lower them to or do they have to come all the way to the ground? Once it’s all decided, the rescue should be performed in the fastest possible way, that doesn’t put the rescue crew in more danger.
Once the worker is safely on the ground, some authorities actually advise against moving the rescued worker to a horizontal position too quickly. There is a potentially large amount of oxygenated blood in the workers legs, and if that rushes back to the heart too quickly, it could cause cardiac arrest.
Most importantly… practice saves lives. Every crew should review and go through the physical motions of a rescue frequently. This can help identify what does and doesn’t work, and how it feels to do the actual maneuvers required. Be sure you’re familiar with all of your rescue gear, and how to operate it. If you have any questions, or need to fill out your rescue kit, give us a call and we can make sure you have what you need.
Sterling Rope is the leading manufacturer of life safety rope, sewn cord, and climbing hardware. Plus, it’s all made in the US. Their climbing, rope rescue, arborist, and safety gear is some of the most innovative around. And they guarantee its quality. Sterling Rope hand checks every product before it leaves their facilities.
Sterling’s HTP Static Rope is a one of the most popular, durable, and best performing safety ropes available. This kernmantle rope has overall better durability higher strength and lower stretch than other static ropes, which makes the HTP a great choice for mainline, haul systems, and highline use. With a safe working load of 908 lbs, this strong rope is often used in specialized rescues, rope access, and safety applications, as well. Since it’s made with polyester, which is inherently resistant to moisture, the HTP doesn’t lose strength or experience increased elongation in wet conditions. It comes in a number of diameters and lengths. Choose from 3/8”, 7/16”, ½” or 5/8” in any lengths of 300’, 600’, 1200’, or really, any specific length you require to get the job done.
Sterling’s 12mm Dyneema Sewn Slings are lightweight, crazy strong, extremely cut resistant, and aren’t affected by moisture. There are a few different lengths to choose from… 10”, 24”, 30”, or 48”. Although these climbing slings have a MBS of 5,170 lbs or 23 kN, they have very little elongation and they shouldn’t be used for dynamic falls.
The Pocket Hauler is the perfect mini mechanical advantage system. It can provide either a 4:1 or 5:1 mechanical advantage, making lifting heavy weight simple. It’s ideal for rope rescue, adjustable directional, piggy-backed haul systems, tensioning lines, or a number of other rigging needs. The haul kit comes with two SR mini-double pulleys, 50 feet of 8mm rope with a sewn eye to attach the screwlink, 2 Hawk Autolock carabiners, and a 6mm sewn prusik cord. It doesn’t come pre-rigged, so check out our video to see a proper setup.
Safety rope is one of the most integral parts of a fall protection system. Unfortunately, there isn’t currently a way to test the break strength of a rope without… well… breaking it. So knowing how to inspect your ropes for damage, as well as knowing when to retire a rope, is a vital skill. This is a task that should be done every time before a rope is used. Yes, it will take a few extra minutes before work can start, but the alternative can keep you off the job for a lot longer.
**DISCLAIMER! Obviously it’s impossible to write exactly when to retire a rope, since every situation is different. This is just a basic outline of the process to help determine the safety of a rope!**
First, determine the age of the rope. The best way is to keep the label that has the sales date, and manufacture date printed. If for some reason the rope didn’t include a tag, or you somehow lost it-which doesn’t sound like a thing you’d do-you can cut a small section from the end of the rope to reveal the core yarns. Between those there is a control thread or tape which will reveal the date the rope was made. This can either be printed clearly, or there may be a color coded thread. Check with the particular manufacturer to decipher the code. You can still use the rope, just remelt the end to fuse the fibers.
As a general rule, if the rope is over 5 years old, it’s time to retire the line. Synthetic fibers start to break down because of UV rays, heat, chemicals, etc., so 5 years is generally the lifespan of a climbing rope. That number might be lower if the rope is used daily.
Some manufacturers recommend keeping a rope diary. A simple log that shows how, when, where, and for how long each rope was used. You should note if the rope was taken over any hard edges, or if it was involved in a fall of any kind. This can help to make a good judgment call on when to replace the rope.
Next, look over the sheath. If there are any cuts in the sheath at all, it’s that rope’s time. Another, more subtle sign is if any of the strands is broken. A little fraying or fuzziness is usually ok, but if there’s a single piece of string sticking out by itself, that’s a warning that the sheath is beginning to wear down. These things seem little, but it’s better to stop is while the problem is small!
Discolorations or stains in the rope can mean that it was exposed to chemicals, paint, or left too long in the sun. All of which can weaken the rope. Also, feel to make sure there’s not a stiff or hardened spot along the length of the rope.
Finally, feel along the core of the rope for any lumps, knot-like bulges or for any foreign objects that might have made their way through the sheath.
Again… you should always read the manufacturer instructions regarding inspection, use, and care of your rope. They know their product best!
Summer is finally here… and that means our new catalog is ready!
Our 2014 Summer catalog will be hot off the presses in a couple weeks. It’s larger than ever, with 170+ pages of the latest and greatest safety equipment, tower climbing gear, tools, and much more to keep you safe and productive.
So, what’s new in the 2014 Summer edition?
- New Brands – We’ve brought on even more brands to get you everything you need on the job. Generac generators, Leica distance measurement tools, and Multiwave Sensors antenna aligners to name a few. All of these companies make top-of-the-line gear that will change the way you work!
- New Products – PMI Extreme Pro rope has a sheath that won’t bunch if it’s cut. It’s pretty much magic. We’ve added upgraded jobsite banners that are now stronger than before, but at a lower cost. There are entirely new pages full of anchorage, safety wear, tools, rigging equipment… this list goes on!
- New Shirts – Choose from three different designs to show your tower climber pride. Our shirts are custom designed and are generally awesome. Choose from the standard “Climb Higher” design, or perhaps the premium designs, which are printed on a high-end material. See a sneak peak over on our Facebook page!
- Even more new photos – We put our photographer to work to get the best photos of our products out there. Flipping through the pages will be the best part of your day. The extra-large, full color photos show every detail you could need. Also, look for the special “Video” icon, which tells you the products that have videos on our YouTube channel.
Like we said… the newest batch of catalogs will be shipping soon, so head over and request a catalog now so you're at the top of our mailing list!
The Petzl Avao harness is one of the most comfortable and lightweight harnesses around. The x-shaped dorsal construction is designed to wrap around your shoulders and back to reduce pressure points during prolonged suspension. And the waistbelt and leg loops are semi-rigid which make the harness easy to put on and take off.
The Avao is also loaded with features to make your job easier as well. It makes carrying tools up the tower easy with multiple tool loops and special retainers for attaching bags and tool pouches. The side attachment points fold away when not in use so there’s no snagging while you’re working. It’s also designed to keep you cool with the breathable, perforated foam shoulder and waistbelt.
Petzl took the time and did the research to find the best way to reduce trauma associated with hanging in suspension. The Avao is designed to distribute the load over the leg loops, which makes the wait for a rescue much more bearable. This also reduces the chances of orthostatic shock, the worst-case scenario if you have to be hanging after a fall for a long amount of time.
The harness can be outfitted with quick connect leg straps. These allow you to get the straps to the right fit and never fiddle with them again. The Avao Bod Croll Fast model comes with an integrated Petzl Croll vertical rope clamp which makes ascending ropes simple for you rope access guys. And for the tower hands, add on the podium seat and you have a lightweight, versatile tower climbing harness.
This week only, all Petzl products are 10% off. Use "PETZL10" at checkout to recieve the discount! The deal is only good through 5/19... so act fast!
The Kenwood PKT-23K radio may be pocket-sized, but it definitely punches above its weight. After you use it, you’ll wonder how they were able to pack in as much power as they did. Barely tipping the scales at 3.9 ounces and right at 3.3 inches tall, the radio will fit into a pocket or pouch and not weigh you down. Plus, now is the perfect time to buy with a fresh rebate to save you some dough. More on that later…
The PKT-23K two-way radio is loaded with features. It transmits in the UHF range and cranks out 1.5 watts of transmission power. In open areas without obstructions, say between towers, radios can be up to 5 miles apart and still come in crystal clear. Or, if you’re working in a steel or concrete building, the radio can blanket 225,000 sq. ft. with communication. Plus, to make sure you have options, choose between 4 channels to assign for specific staff or operations.
This military spec radio meets or exceeds 11 different standards and is IP54 dust and water resistant. Don’t have a place for a charging dock in your truck? No worries. The radio uses a standard micro USB port to get its juice. If you prefer a dock, try the 6 radio multi-charger. It’ll let you drop the radios at the end of a shift and have them ready the next morning. For hands-free operation, try out a variety of push-to-talk headsets or use the built-in VOX for automatic transmission when you begin speaking.
And as for that rebate – save $20 per radio when you buy 6. This is almost a free radio, people! Head over to the product page for more info on the radio and the rebate, or give us a call to get the order going!