I am commonly asked what products we recommend for a variety of safety-related needs. Truth is, I like to answer that question with a question and that is, "Have you considered whether you can first eliminated the hazard altogether?".
Sometimes, it isn't possible and we must consider a personal protective equipment product.
Fall protection is a topic we focus on a lot a LowRisq and for good reason. In Construction, falls are the number one cause of fatalities. With that in mind, we thought we would provide our suggestions in a Best, Better, Good format (hey, sometimes we like to go backwards).
Keep in mind, the equipment referenced below is equipment we have found works well and checks many of the boxes that allow for safe use. Most important of any consideration is that the equipment is used, and used properly, in the first place.
Best: DBI/Sala ExoFit Nex
Why: Comfort, durability, extra features
This harness isn't cheap. Sometimes you get what you pay for and in this instance, that's true. The DBI/Sala ExoFit Nex harness is a best in class harness that provides all day comfort with a plethora of extra features that can make wearing a harness all day a bit more tolerable.
This harness should be considered for use by those who are required to wear a harness as a typical part of their job activities. Otherwise, the cost may not be quite justified.
Better: Palmer Safety Full Body Harness
Why: Nice blend of price, weight, and functionality
Depending on where you are in the country, the Palmer brand may not be a familiar one. However, rest assured, this harness is ANSI Z359 compliant and is well-made. The harness has extra padding on the belt and hip line as well as on the shoulders and also has belt-style attachments for the leg straps and belt itself.
This harness is a great option for those on more of a budget but still need to wear the harness for a longer period of time. It's also a great consideration if an organization needs to buy multiple quality harnesses at a time without completely breaking the bank.
Good: Guardian Fall Protection 1705 Velocity
Why: price, trusted manufacturer, side D-rings
Sometimes you just need a harness. It's not worn every day and it's an essential tool that is mostly going to stay in the trunk or office (properly inspected, of course!). If this is the way you typically use a harness, then this is.a good choice. Guardian is a known player in the fall protection business and their products typically perform very well.
As already mentioned, no matter the equipment you choose, the most important thing is that it is worn in the first place. Secondary to that is the consideration of whether it's the right equipment. Know your options, always consider the Hierarchy of Controls when approaching fall hazards, and choose the best tool for your particular situation.