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Sizing and fit of fall-protection harnesses.
Hsiao-H; Bradtmiller-B; Whitestone-J
Ergonomics 2003 Oct; 46(12):1233-1258
Full-body fall-protection harnesses have been a critical work-practice control technology for reducing the number of fall-related injuries and fatalities among construction workers; yet, very little is known about the fit of these harnesses to the population that wears them. This study evaluated the fit and sizing efficacy of a harness system. Seventy-two male and 26 female construction workers participated in the study. Their body size-and-shape information was measured while they were suspended (with a harness) and standing (with and without a harness), using a 3-D full-body laser scanner and traditional anthropometric calipers. Fisher's discriminant analysis results did not point to the need for a change in the current sizing selection scheme by body height and weight for end users. However, an integrated redesign of harness components is needed because 40% of subjects did not pass fit-performance criteria in either the standing or suspended condition. A multivariate accommodation analysis has identified 15 representative body models for the 'standard-size' harness design. These models can serve as a useful population to test harness design until a larger survey of the nation's construction workers can be done. Finally, further developments in 3-D shape quantification methods are recommended to improve the harness design process; the point-to-point anthropometric information currently used seems to be insufficient for harness design.
Ergonomics; Personal-protective-equipment; Harnesses; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Control-equipment; Control-technology; Injury-prevention; Antibacterial-agents; Lasers; Scanning-techniques
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, Protective Technology Branch, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Issue of Publication
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division