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Almost every workday, a construction worker in the United States dies as a result of a fall. Wearing a fall protection harness can save your life if used correctly. Follow these steps to avoid a tragedy:
1. Wear a full-body harness that straps around the trunk and thighs. This will distribute the “stopping force” across your thighs, pelvis, chest, and shoulders to prevent severe injury.
2. Inspect your harness regularly for worn or damaged straps, buckles, D-ring(s), and webbing. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and that all straps are fastened and adjusted correctly.
3. Attach the lanyard to the D-ring on your fall arrest harness, then anchor it securely to an anchor point that can sustain the load without failure. Never connect a lanyard back to itself; this creates a shear point and can cause the lanyard to fail.
4. Eliminate excess slack in the lanyard to reduce free fall and deceleration distance from the anchor point. Remember, an anchor point must be able to support 5,000 lbs per user.