Workers who spend a great deal of time working at height depend on their fall protection PPE harnesses. They want their gear to be comfortable and lightweight, not hot and heavy. Some harnesses can claim they are lighter weight, but that doesn’t always equate to comfort, especially for workers of varying shapes and sizes. Let’s explore some of the things that can make fall protection harnesses more comfortable, lighter weight and easily incorporated with other PPE.

Since “falls from height” rank first in cause of death for the construction industry, it’s critical that workers are appropriately protected. These features will make it easier for workers to be compliant by encouraging them to wear their gear properly and keep themselves and the jobsite safe:

■ Ergonomic safety
■ Lightweight and Flexible
■ Integration with other PPE

Ergonomic Safety

Comfort is key to performance and that is where ergonomics comes in. Ergonomics has been defined as the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment, but in the world of health and safety, it tends to define fitting a job or task around the employee.

We can all remember a time when we weren’t comfortable and we just couldn’t get our minds off it. The same can be true for a worker who is wearing a fall harness, except they can do without this type of distraction. If it isn’t comfortable, he or she is more likely to shift it or wear it in an unapproved position to seek comfort. This can have unintended consequences since wearing a fall harness incorrectly affects the protection it can provide and can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). According to the CDC, MSDs are injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) are conditions in which the work environment and performance of work contribute significantly to the condition and/or the condition is made worse or persists longer due to work conditions.