(812) 206-7700

The Impact of Safety Harnesses

Safety Harnesses

Employee Wearing his Safety Harness with Retractable Near Edge of Roof
Employee Wearing his Safety Harness with Retractable Near Edge of Roof

Safety harnesses are a common form of fall protection PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). Due to the dangers of working at heights, assuring that your harness is in good condition is essential for a safe work environment. When used properly they have the potential to save a life in crisis, but if the safety harness has not been used, inspected, maintained, and stored properly then a life could be in danger.

Proper Use

Keep your harness effective by properly using and caring for it.

  • Do not drop your harness on the ground from any height.
  • Never alter the harness by cutting or punching holes.
  • Do not let the harness come into contact with:
  • Sharp or abrasive objects.
  • Acids, caustics, or other corrosive materials.
  • Paints or coatings.
  • Never use a defective or worn harness.


Prior to use, inspect your harness and hardware for:

  • Fraying
  • Holes
  • Cuts
  • Any other signs of excessive wear or damage

Maintenance and Storage

Replace harnesses as needed:

  • If the safety harness is found to be defective, damaged, or excessively worn, remove it from service immediately.
  • If the safety harness is subjected to in-service loading, such as a fall, remove it from service immediately.
  • Safety Harnesses must also be replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions and timeline.

To wash the harness:

Safety Harness Being Worn Near Roof Edge
Safety Harness Being Worn Near Roof Edge
  • Wipe the harness with warm water and mild soap.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Wipe the wet harness with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Let it dry slowly at room temperature.
  • Do not expose the wet harness to extreme cold, heat, or sunlight.
  • Store harnesses safely in separate, dry compartments or hang them so that they will not be crushed, worn, or creased.


Having the proper equipment and protection could be the difference between life and death. When properly equipped you are giving yourself or another worker the chance of survival if something would go wrong on a job site. Be sure that your safety harness is up to standard. If you feel that it is showing signs of wear and tear, report it to your supervisor or safety director to tag it out. Always be on the side of caution when it comes to your safe and the safety of your employees.

Need a New Roof?

Start a Conversation