Fall Protection

B - Body Support

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Body support refers to fall protection equipment that directly supports the worker’s weight and maintains the body in a safe position. Worker comfort, fit, and ease of use are key considerations in the selection of body support equipment like a full body harness that a worker may wear for extended periods during a work day.

Full body harnesses distribute fall arrest forces across the shoulders, upper thighs, chest, and pelvis. Fall arrest harnesses feature a dorsal D-ring for attaching to the connector such as a lanyard and may have other D-rings for use in worker positioning, travel restraint, retrieval or ladder climbing. They are the only form of body support acceptable for fall arrest and should be selected based on the job task as well as the work environment.

Body belts are strapped around the waist and are used for worker positioning, travel restraint or for added tool carrying options. While they may be used in conjunction with a full body harness, they must NEVER be used for personal fall arrest.

Composite image of workers on worksites using body supports including full body harness and workbelt
What kind of body support do I need?
  • Full Body Harnesses

    A full-body harness is the single most important equipment choice you can make for your crew. Fall protection harnesses provide comfort and confidence, and directly affect the user's productivity. They come in general varieties that can be used in many applications, or may be specialized for specific uses within different industries.

  • Body Belts and Workseats

    A fall protection belt is a great choice for positioning, restraining from a leading edge, or other situations where there is no possibility of a vertical free fall. Workseats, bosun chairs and seat slings are useful for inspection work, window washing, painting and maintenance.

Full Body Harnesses

Choosing the right harness for the job

  • Illustration of figure suspended from connection point on back

    General fall arrest

    The back D-ring is for fall arrest, included on all harnesses.

  • Illustration of figure climbing ladder connected by connection point on front

    Ladder climbing harness

    A front D-ring is the distinguishing factor of these harnesses, enabling connection to a permanent ladder system.

  • Illustration of figure held in place by connectors at the waist

    Work positioning harness

    Positioning D-rings located on the hips are used with positioning lanyards, and allow workers to use both hands.

  • Illustration of figure suspended from dual connection points at shoulders

    Confined space entry/retrieval harness

    A D-ring located on each shoulder strap facilitates upright retrieval from confined spaces.

  • Illustration of figure seated in descent harness

    Descent and suspension harness

    Descent harnesses typically have a front D-ring for use with descent control devices. Suspension/rigging harnesses also typically include a front D-ring but often also have extras such as side D-rings for positioning.

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Body Belts and Workseats

Choosing the right body belt or workseat

Body belts and workseats complement other fall protection components. For example, many harnesses can accommodate a belt for added back support, tool carrying options and restraint or work positioning job tasks.

  • Workman on power pole wearing work positioning belt

    Work positioning belt

    Work positioning belts include side D-rings located on each hip and hold and sustain you at a specific work location, limiting any free fall to two feet or less. Rebar tying and concrete wall-form work are typical applications.

  • Worker on roof wearing restraint belt

    Restraint belt

    Restraint belts typically have a single back D-ring and prevent you from reaching an area where a free fall could occur. Leading edge roof work and concrete floor construction typically calls for a restraint system.

  • Worker wearing back and tool support belt

    Back and tool support belt

    These belts can have D-rings to make them more versatile for use in work positioning for example, but often do not. They simply provide added back support and a location to attach tool and equipment pouches that is at waist level for easy reach.

  • Window washer cleaning windows of tall building seated in suspension workseat

    Suspension workseat

    Use a suspension workseat to support and hold you without any possibility of a free fall while you are being raised or lowered. Bosun chair jobs such as painting or window washing are common examples. Regulations require the use of a separate harness for fall arrest and secondary back-up lifeline with suspension supports.

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Learn More About the ABCs of Fall Protection:

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  • anchor point solutions
    A — Anchors
  • safety harness for body support
    B — Body Support
  • lanyards and self-retracting lifelines
    C — Connectors
  • descent & rescue safety equipment
    D — Descent Rescue
  • work at height safety education
    E — Education
  • tool drop solutions
    F — Fall Protection for Tools
  • netting and guardrail fall protection
    Netting and Guardrail Systems
  • engineered fall protection systems
    Engineered Fall Protection Systems

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Learn More About the ABCs of Fall Protection:

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  • A — Anchors

  • B — Body Support

  • C — Connectors

  • D — Descent & Rescue

  • E — Education

  • F — Fall Protection Tools

  • Netting and Guardrail Systems

  • Engineered Fall  Protection Systems


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