Harness Helps Workers ‘Lighten Up’
By Capitol Safety
February 3, 2016 - Falls are the leading cause of death in construction, according to OSHA.
By Capitol Safety
And yet compliance with current safety standards is still an issue. One reason workers don’t utilize proper fall protection equipment is comfort. 3M Personal Safety Division and Capital Safety—two world industry leaders in personal protective equipment and fall protection products—have introduced a solution for this problem, the DBI-SALA ExoFit STRATA harness. It is the first full-body safety harness designed and tested with data-driven, third-party research, resulting in a harness that is more comfortable, cooler and lighter to wear.
“The safest harness is the one workers actually wear. Since launching the harness in the fall of 2015, hundreds of workers have made the switch to ExoFit STRATA,” said Tim Thompson, soft goods manager at Capital Safety. “Workers and managers alike have caught on to the overall benefit of utilizing equipment that compliments workers while on the job, and leaves them feeling comfortable even after they end a shift.”
The ExoFit STRATA features a number of solutions-based elements, including a first-of-its-kind LIFTech™ Load Distribution System. LIFTech takes the weight off a worker’s shoulders and redistributes it down to the hips, reducing forces on the shoulders up to 85 percent when compared to leading harnesses. PolarMesh™ padding keeps users’ backs cooler with greater air flow. A Revolver™ Vertical Torso Adjuster and Tri-Lock Revolver™ Connectors, which offer added security around the legs, allow wearers to adjust their harness to the perfect fit. An EZ-Link™ Quick SRL Adapter helps workers efficiently attach their personal SRL—such as the DBI-SALA Nano-Lok™ SRL—reducing the time it takes to connect and disconnect by up to 80 percent. Tech-Lite™ Aluminum D-Rings allow for optimal reliability without adding significant weight to the harness.
In July 2015, Capital Safety partnered with ergonomics specialists from the Sweere Center for Clinical Biomechanics and Applied Ergonomics at Northwestern Health Sciences University to create data-driven research to further validate the need for greater innovation in harness development. The research looked at key worker complaints, such as the load on the back and shoulders, limited range of motion, and body temperature while wearing the harness. The results confirmed that each of the first-of-a-kind innovations incorporated into the ExoFit STRATA directly addressed these issues in a measureable way.
“When testing leading harnesses we were looking to find measureable solutions for key issues that have become barriers to worker safety,” said Bradford C. Bennett, PhD, lead investigator of the study. “Is it comfortable enough to wear all day? Does it allow for ease of movement? Is it adjustable enough to allow for a proper fit? Is the worker comfortable even after taking it off? We quickly discovered that not all harnesses measure up to the task. ExoFit STRATA truly excelled at solving these issues that historically, have been inadequately addressed.”