How to Choose a Safety Harness

Ensure your team’s safety at heights by making sure they are kitted out with the best fit-for-purpose harness for the job. This guide will walk you through some of the options to consider when purchasing your harness.

Safety Harness features

Fall Arrest

Height safety harnesses have fall arrest D-shackles or loops used to connect the harness to a fall lanyard. These shackles are most commonly found on the front and rear of the harness. Some models come with a waist belt containing additional D-shackles. The job you are doing will determine where the lanyard should be clipped. The back shackle is the most commonly used and suits most jobs while the front is typically used for rescue situations.


Webbing refers to the harness straps, usually made out of strong polyester. This polyester webbing can be UV stabilised for strength retention even after outdoor use. Webbing can also have other special features making it more suitable for certain applications.


Most buckles are made of aluminium, which is strong and lightweight. Buckles can also be made out of plastic and stainless steel. Look for a strong connection that can be easily buckled or unbuckled.

Buckle Adjust System

Harnesses are adjustable to get the perfect fit. If a safety harness is not properly fitted it will not provide adequate protection. Most harnesses use a three bar buckle for easy tightening and loosening. Buckle systems should also come with keepers to easily tuck away excess webbing and reduce the potential risk of getting caught on a structure.

Suspension Trauma Straps

In the event of a fall, suspension trauma straps help to alleviate the risk of Suspension Trauma. Suspension Trauma is caused by the pooling of blood due to the restriction of major arteries in the legs. Suspension Trauma straps are manually deployed in the event of a fall, allowing the worker who is suspended to effectively stand on their harness to alleviate pressure around the legs and assist with blood flow.

Some premium harnesses include Suspension Trauma straps. If your harness does not include straps, they can be purchased separately and attached.

H-Style vs X-Style – What’s the Difference?

H-Style vs X-Style – What’s the Difference?

Not sure if you want an H-style or an X-style harness? Here are a few simple differences to make your decision a little easier.

The H-style harness has two over-the-shoulder straps, held together with a strap across the torso forming a H shape. This harness is considered to be the most general purpose. The X-style harness forms an X across the torso. This style is particularly good for women as it doesn’t put pressure on the chest area.

Harness sizing chart

*This chart is to be used as an indicator only, ATOM Safety recommend checking with your harness supplier for accurate sizing or being fitted by a professional.

Still not sure what harness will best suit your needs? Contact your local ATOM Safety representative.

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