Choosing an Anchor for your Fall Protection Safety Harness

A fall protection safety harness is the best friend you may have when you go to work on a construction, welding, highway safety or oil field job. A never fail system that supports you in case you fall from a height can save your life or prevent terrible injuries. Modern technology makes advances in personal safety devices available, and you make a smart move when you decide to wear them.


Understanding the Components

The components of a fall protection safety harness combine to produce a highly reliable and comfortable safety device that you need to wear at all times on the job. Comprised of straps, a lanyard and D-rings, the device provides the protection that you need. Each part is a vital component of your fall protection safety harness. These are the functions that each component serves:


Harness Straps - The straps are an essential aspect of the harness, and they give you protection by securing you snugly to prevent injury or death when you fall. The straps distribute the force of a fall evenly over your body so that no one part suffers an uneven share of the load. Involving your thighs, waist, chest, pelvis and shoulders in a network of support, the straps attach to the other components of a harness with D-rings.


Lanyard - With a connector at both ends, the lanyard connects the body harness to a secure point that anchors it. Shock absorbing lanyards reduce the force that you experience in a fall.


D-ring Connectors - A device that has locking features to prevent opening, a D-ring connector is an essential part of a fall protection safety harness. Providing a secure connection between the components of a body harness, they are an integral part of the safety device.


Establishing an Anchor

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines an anchorage as a “secure point of attachment for lifelines, lanyards or deceleration devices” that provide safe control of your harness. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) describes anchorages as structures that can support the force that they arrest when they stop your fall. Structures that ANSI approves as sufficient for use with your fall protection safety harness include these:

  • Beam
  • Girder
  • Column
  • Floor

Anchorages and the devices that connect to them must support 5,000 pounds. By strictly observing the safety guidelines from OSHA and ANSI, you can avoid injury from falls with your fall protection safety harness.