/ Rope Access Harness Type
Looking for some advice off the Rope Access type peeps.
With regards to the type of harness used for either Confined Space entry and / or working at height is there a preference as to whether or not the lanyard or rope is attached to the front or back of the harness?
Just a bit more info as to my question, I'm thinking if you fall or need rescuing and you are suspended from the rear then any attempts at self-righting yourself to avoid suspension trauma is going to be a whole lot more difficult than if you are attached to the front of the harness (as in climbing)?
What are the industry standards and rational behind best practice (what ever best practice is)?
Anyone in their right mind prefers a chest "sternal" attachment - for the reasons you suggest and the fact that it is much more comfortable if suspended. Workers (eg scaffolders) who rarely hang in their harnesses often routinely use rear points simply to keep the lanyard out of the way. They would regret that choice if they did fall off!
Most of our rope access harnesses (Petzl Navaho/ Avao sit harness + Top croll chest harness) do not have dorsal attachments.
Ok great, thanks Adam
Industry standard now is that a harness used at the dorsal attachment is equipped with two emergency foot loops, so that the casualty can take the weight from their harness and onto their feet whilst awaiting rescue. Ironically a mobile casualty is not going to experience suspension trauma, whereas an immobile one may. The plan with a 'fall arrest' type casualty suspended from their dorsal attachment is that they are lowered or recovered very quickly and this should be pre organised.
Murko, what are you referring to as a dorsal attachment? Does that mean on the back?
Yeah dorsal is back. I prefer chest ring simply because anyone that's ever been attached from the dorsal ring will know that when suspended, it has a nasty tendency to want to tip you forward and smash your face into stuff! Ideally, I find attachment at waist points the best although this might be because it feels nice and familiar from rock climbing.
We use front chest attachment for reason mentioned above.
The only time we have used dorsal is when performing a rescue in the nappy.
dorsal attachment is handy for stuff like silo access, some forms of water access, ice access, heli access and assisted extractions in narrow shafts etc.
but then not often, could never use it if outside some specific jobs.
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