A safety harness is worn by the user and is an important component of his/her personal protection equipment kit (PPE). Safety harnesses (including safety vests) must be certified in accordance with EN 361 and their condition checked at least once a year.
The provisions of the German employers' liability insurance associations, e.g. DGUV rule 112-198 (formerly BGR 198) which is a binding rule on the "Use of personal fall protection equipment", regulate in which work areas such safety harnesses/vests need to be worn. These rules stipulate, for example, that:
"For all insured individuals where fall protection is part of the job, a safety harness must be provided for the individual's own personal usage."
Safety harnesses are equipped with a D-ring to which the wearer can attach a connector to hook up to an anchorage device. In the case of a fall, the safety harness channels the ensuing force through the leg loops to the thighs so as to avoid serious injury to more sensitive parts of the body. In addition, a safety harness keeps the wearer in an upright position following a fall. Once a safety harness has arrested a fall, it must be replaced. Even if a harness is regularly serviced, the approval lapses after a maximum of 8 years so that the harness then needs to be replaced by a new one.