Simplifying your toolbox talks

What you need to know

Conduct a visual inspection: Before each use, personal harnesses must be inspected for signs of defects from use and the environment.
  • Inspect the harness for loose or broken stitching, cuts, burn marks, or any evidence that would lead you to believe the strapping has been weakened
  • Inspect the harness components: D-rings, quick-connect buckles, friction buckles, locking cams, snap hooks and grommets

How to properly put on a safety harness

construction worker demonstrating steps 1 and 2 of wearing a safety harness
  1. Hold the harness by the D-ring and shake it out. Let the leg straps hang down and make sure they are not tangled.
  2. Pull straps over shoulders like a jacket so the D-ring is between the shoulder blades.
construction worker demonstrating steps 3 and 4 of wearing a safety harness
  1. Adjust strap for proper fit.
  2. Pull chest straps and fasten. Adjust strap to snug fit.
construction worker demonstrating steps 5 and 6 of wearing a safety harness
  1. Pull leg strap through legs and over thigh and fasten.
  2. Adjust strap to be snug on thigh.
construction worker demonstrating step 7 of wearing a safety harness
  1. The D-ring should be in between your shoulder blades after adjustments.

Why it matters

Falls from heights continue to contribute to more deaths in construction than any other hazard.1 Falls can occur in a split second but have long-lasting effects, including loss of life, pain and suffering to employees or their families, regulatory fines, project delays and increased insurance costs.

Despite improvements in safety awareness, fall protection requirements are consistently one of OSHA’s most-cited standards during inspections, complaints and accident investigations.

Confirm review of this toolbox talks article.

Resources for you

Supplement this talk: Proper Donning of Safety Harness

Construction resources: Construction Loss Control Services

[1] Falls Campaign 2022: Making Research Work,” (April 13, 2022).

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