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What Kind of Fall Protection Would You Recommend for a Small Framed Person?

The men and women who work in industries that require them to operate at heights come in all shapes and sizes. On this week’s episode of Dynamics Discussions, Greg and David give us some guidance on what fall protection products they’d recommend for a smaller framed worker to keep safe while working at heights.

ANSI Regulations

ANSI recognizes a weight range from 130- 310 lbs. in order to safely use fall protection equipment. If you’re at least 130 lbs., you’ll fall into the classification for using ANSI rated lifelines and fall protection. Then, you’ll want to start consulting sizing charts to make sure you choose the correct size for your full body harness. For anchors and connectors, size isn’t going to be a factor you have to worry about, you’ll just have to make sure you fall within that ANSI weight range.

ANSI/ASSP Z359.1-1992 (R1999) – Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems, and Components.

“Establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification, instruction, training, inspection, use, maintenance, and removal from service of connectors, full body harnesses, lanyards, energy absorbers, anchorage connectors, fall arrestors, vertical lifelines, and self-retracting lanyards comprising personal fall arrest systems for users within the capacity range of 130 – 310 lbs. (59-140 kg.).

Sizing Your Harness

Yes, comfort is important, but a full body harness is the thing that saves your life if a fall occurs so properly sizing it is essential. During a fall, an ill-fitted harness could slip off the shoulders and essentially dump the worker upside down and cause them to slip out. On the other end of the spectrum, a harness that is too tight can cause circulatory problems and result in trauma to your body. Although harnesses do come in sizes, they are made to be fairly universal. Each harness should be adjustable to fit a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but make sure that all clips and adjustments are made properly. Just barely reaching the last grommet on a harness is dangerous and should be avoided and adjusting straps as tight our as loose as they go indicates that you should use a different size. When sizing your harness, you should remember that a properly fitting harness will allow you to slide a flat hand between the strap and your leg, and when you make a fist, you should not be able to slide your hand back out. If the harness you’re wearing cannot successfully pass this test, you should find a different size. In an emergency this fit is life or death, so take the time to make sure you’re in a harness that fits properly.

Need Help Choosing a Harness?

Picking out a harness can feel a little overwhelming with so many styles, sizes, and options to choose from, but Malta Dynamics is pleased to offer a free helpful guide for your convenience. ‘7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Harness’, is designed to help you choose the right harness for your needs.

Download your copy of ‘7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Harness’ now.

We also have a library of other helpful safety resources that are free to download. From a Fall Protection Plan to a Hazard Assessment checklist we’ve got you covered with all educational materials you might for you and your crew to stay safe while working at heights.  

Download your customizable Fall Protection Plan now.

Download your Hazard Assessment checklist now.

View all of our Safety Resources here.

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