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safety harness recommendation?


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#1 elisabeth james

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 03:11 PM

My son has been working in films for a few years now, mainly grip / electric/ best boy and some gaffing. More and more of his jobs have involved rigging on high lift equipment and he needs a safety harness. I would like to give him one as a birthday gift but when I search saftey equipment on the web, there are a million options for different occupations and I have no idea what would be best/most comfortable for him when working with scissor lifts, condors, lift buckets and boom arms. He's 6'5" with a 32" waist so when I check for sizes his height tends to fall into XL categories but his waist size is M.

I'm sure the easiest thing would be to send him into a store to try something on but for some strange reason, all the work wear stores are only open during working hours....(Mon-Fri 9-5...go figure, right?)and he's actually been working on consecutive projects /long days so no chance right now for personal shopping.

I would appreciate any advice on this, especially from someone who's worked in this equipment- Thanks
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#2 robert duke

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 03:35 PM

My son has been working in films for a few years now, mainly grip / electric/ best boy and some gaffing. More and more of his jobs have involved rigging on high lift equipment and he needs a safety harness. I would like to give him one as a birthday gift but when I search saftey equipment on the web, there are a million options for different occupations and I have no idea what would be best/most comfortable for him when working with scissor lifts, condors, lift buckets and boom arms. He's 6'5" with a 32" waist so when I check for sizes his height tends to fall into XL categories but his waist size is M.

I'm sure the easiest thing would be to send him into a store to try something on but for some strange reason, all the work wear stores are only open during working hours....(Mon-Fri 9-5...go figure, right?)and he's actually been working on consecutive projects /long days so no chance right now for personal shopping.

I would appreciate any advice on this, especially from someone who's worked in this equipment- Thanks


Any harness from Miller or safeways is great. Federal law say you shouldnt have to provide safety equipment such as a harness. That being said, youe son is lucky to have a loving mother such as you. you can find them on Amazon pretty cheap, the Miller Revolution series is definitly cadillac. Any 5 point harness for fall protection is great.

Harness should be inspected before each use and inspected each year by a professional. Great care should be given to the storage and care of a harness. exposure to heat (like in a car), chemicals, and abrasion can severely limit the life of a harness. make sure your son understands the fitting and use of the specific harness.
I recommend reading OSHA rules and regulations for any fall protection system and fall protection devices. In the film industry we use almost all the systems including fall restraint systems.

again any 5 point harness from miller, safewayz, DBI/sala, or other major manufacturer will do. I have the DBI exofit and love it.
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#3 elisabeth james

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 04:08 PM

Any harness from Miller or safeways is great. Federal law say you shouldnt have to provide safety equipment such as a harness. That being said, youe son is lucky to have a loving mother such as you. you can find them on Amazon pretty cheap, the Miller Revolution series is definitly cadillac. Any 5 point harness for fall protection is great.

Harness should be inspected before each use and inspected each year by a professional. Great care should be given to the storage and care of a harness. exposure to heat (like in a car), chemicals, and abrasion can severely limit the life of a harness. make sure your son understands the fitting and use of the specific harness.
I recommend reading OSHA rules and regulations for any fall protection system and fall protection devices. In the film industry we use almost all the systems including fall restraint systems.

again any 5 point harness from miller, safewayz, DBI/sala, or other major manufacturer will do. I have the DBI exofit and love it.



Thanks! I figure I should try to keep him alive long enough to pay me back for supporting his love of this crazy business! :o)

Edited by elisabeth james, 21 August 2010 - 04:11 PM.

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#4 JD Hartman

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 05:19 PM

Another option is the local wholesale electric supply to look at the available fall protection gear that Klein Tools makes and sells. http://www.kleintools.com/
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#5 Michael E Brown

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 10:08 PM

Any good harness should be adjustable to fit his body shape, you just need to make sure it can expand large enough - in his case height - so get whatever fits his height and he should be able to tighten down the areas needed.

Number one on my list would be the way the harness goes on. Skip anything where the harness requires webbing to be undone to get out of. These are stupid and slow. Also skip anything where the middle strap does not release at all, requiring you to pull the harness over your head. Also stupid and slow. I've seen both of these goofy harness types in the last month. A good harness will have a quick release buckle in the middle and many like mine have them on the legs also (some have buckles on legs, but you have to remember what hole you were in). I can get in/out of my harness without any sillyness in about 10 seconds.

Number two is to make sure the harness has TWO lanyards. For whatever reason all the stores like to sell harnesses with one lanyard which is fine for using in a lift, but you can't do anything else with it where you would be required to change from one safety point to another.
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#6 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 02:03 AM

Number one on my list would be the way the harness goes on. Skip anything where the harness requires webbing to be undone to get out of. These are stupid and slow. Also skip anything where the middle strap does not release at all, requiring you to pull the harness over your head. Also stupid and slow. I've seen both of these goofy harness types in the last month. A good harness will have a quick release buckle in the middle and many like mine have them on the legs also (some have buckles on legs, but you have to remember what hole you were in). I can get in/out of my harness without any sillyness in about 10 seconds.

Number two is to make sure the harness has TWO lanyards. For whatever reason all the stores like to sell harnesses with one lanyard which is fine for using in a lift, but you can't do anything else with it where you would be required to change from one safety point to another.


These are really good points. For about 12 years I used rockclimbing harnesses from Petzl and other brands, and often the pain in the ass factor of undoing webbing through buckles saw me skipping the harness altogether. Then in 1992 someone gave me a SALA harness with quick releases all around, and have been using SALA products ever since ... they are really good and comfy.

I think its great that you are buying your son a harness .
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#7 michael best

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:48 PM

My son has been working in films for a few years now, mainly grip / electric/ best boy and some gaffing. More and more of his jobs have involved rigging on high lift equipment and he needs a safety harness. I would like to give him one as a birthday gift but when I search saftey equipment on the web, there are a million options for different occupations and I have no idea what would be best/most comfortable for him when working with scissor lifts, condors, lift buckets and boom arms. He's 6'5" with a 32" waist so when I check for sizes his height tends to fall into XL categories but his waist size is M.

I'm sure the easiest thing would be to send him into a store to try something on but for some strange reason, all the work wear stores are only open during working hours....(Mon-Fri 9-5...go figure, right?)and he's actually been working on consecutive projects /long days so no chance right now for personal shopping.

I would appreciate any advice on this, especially from someone who's worked in this equipment- Thanks



Sadly the best way for him to get the right harness is for him to try them on. This can be hard with the hours we work. However you can get him in the general area for a harness by asking a few quick questions. 1- Is the Harness for Condor/scissor lifts or for climbing truss/rigging work?

If he just needs a harness for condor/scissor lift duty you can go to www.gemplers.com or granger.com and get one. Just make surer that it does not come with an attached lanyard. When you find the harness also get a shock-absorbing lanyard. The most common is 6 footer, but you can find adjustable ones. Working in a condor/scissor lift he won’t need a Y lanyard so it’s not worth the extra money. Miller is the most popular brand. Petzil makes great harness as well however they tens to be more complex and I come form the keep it simple school of though when it comes to wearing a harness.

If your son is climbing truss or doing hi rigging work he will need a more advanced harness, with a Y lanyard, and he may need some daisy chains, and 1” and 2” Steel auto locking carabiners as well. Sadly I really suggest he is there when buying this harness, as he will want to hang from it to see if it fits him and is comfortable to wear while climbing/working for the harness. And all they do is put him in the harness adjust it for him and then pull him up by a block and fall and have him hand there for a few minutes to see how it feels. I own a Yates 380rl - Voyager riggers harness with a miller Y lanyard. I am 6'2" 220lbs and I fit into a Large. Petzl also makes several good ones. I picked mine after trying on about 6 other harnesses and though this one was the most comfortable. However like most rigging harnesses they are far from a simple thing to put on.

If your son is mostly doing condor/scissor lift work but every now and then need to climb truss or work up high Miller, Rose and Titan all make harness that have “positioning rigs” at the hips so they can be worn for climbing truss, when needed, but are much less costly then a true rigging harness.

If you are in LA the best place to look for one is VERS sales in Burbank. They are one of if not the top rigging suppler in the country. If you are else where, you can try looking for the harness at the local expendable stores or look for a truss/rigging suppler in your area. I would really recommended trying to buy one at a local retailer as they will be aware of al the ANSI, OSHA and local regulations for body harness.

The one thing I will say not to buy is a Rock climbing harness both OSHA and ANSI have said those are unsafe and I know in California illegal for use as fall protection in our line of work.

Hope this helps you and your son find the right harness.
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#8 John Sprung

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 09:18 PM

I got mine here:

http://versales.com/

The first one I tried was a cheap Miller, so uncomfortable that I upgraded to a Yates, and gave the old one to a dominatrix. But I was doing copper roofing at the time, which required working with the line tight rather than in fall protection mode. He really should go to Ver Sales in person to be sure to get exactly what he needs. The guys who sell the stuff there actually use it, so they know what they're talking about.




-- J.S.
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#9 JD Hartman

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 11:35 AM

I'll have to repeat my suggestion to go to a electrical supply house. They should have the Klein or other brand on the shelf along with the lanyards, so he can try, before he buys. The other advantage, since they serve the professional electrician, they are likely to be open at 6am and close at 6pm. Even working on a shoot, your son should be able to squeeze in a visit during business hours. Getting a proper fit and first hand instruction on adjusting the harness are more important than saving a few bucks from a mail order or non-traditional supplier.
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#10 elisabeth james

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 01:21 PM

Thanks for the VERS recommendations- unfortunately, we're in Seattle!


I got mine here:

http://versales.com/

The first one I tried was a cheap Miller, so uncomfortable that I upgraded to a Yates, and gave the old one to a dominatrix. But I was doing copper roofing at the time, which required working with the line tight rather than in fall protection mode. He really should go to Ver Sales in person to be sure to get exactly what he needs. The guys who sell the stuff there actually use it, so they know what they're talking about.




-- J.S.


Edited by elisabeth james, 04 September 2010 - 01:23 PM.

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