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The Safety Harness Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a comprehensive document outlining the safety steps for the use of a safety harness.
This SWMS covers the selection, inspection, fitting and use of a safety harness system for fall arrest. This does not cover the use of safety harness systems for travel restraint, positioning or rock climbing / recreational harnesses. It does not cover work at heights; a task-specific SMWS for working at heights should be used.
Ensure an emergency response plan is developed, implemented and rehearsed for each site where persons are using a harness. The plan should ensure rescue of any fallen person wearing a harness is done within 5 minutes of fall. A person left for 15 minutes or more can die from suspension trauma.
- Suspension trauma
- Musculoskeletal injury
- Striking object during fall / Impalement
- Equipment failure
This SWMS includes:
This SWMS is ready to use and is not a blank template. Simply add your company details, ABN, and include any site specific details or risks and make it specific to the task at hand. It is then ready for printing and to be incorporated as part of your overall WHS System.
Set-up of fall arrest system:
- Maximum distance free fall before arrest must not exceed 2m
- Ensure sufficient distance between work surface and any surface below to enable shock absorber to fully deploy
- Do not use shock absorber on single story
- Do not use lanyard in combination with inertia reel – leads to increased free fall distance
Note: To calculate suitable distance, take into account:
- Distance between work surface and any surface below
- Original length of lanyard
- Maximum energy absorber extension
- Height of person
- Clearance allowance for dynamic stretch.
Ensure anchor point is as high as possible above work area. Never work above anchor point.
- Can only be used where there are no obstructions (unless manufacturer can demonstrate contact will not impair function)
- Do not use on steep pitched roof (does not lock during fall down pitched roof)
- Do not lock in place – not designed for continual support
- Vertical /self-retracting lines can be used when on a ladder – only 1 person attached to line.
- Physically fit and able to withstand possible fall
- Within weight limit (including clothing and equipment) of harness.
- No loose clothing (could become tangled in hooks / prevent hooks from closing properly)
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