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The Guardian Fall Team Blog

When we think of working at height, we often imagine someone tethered to a lanyard or SRL walking across a roof, along the edge of an unfinished concrete floor, or maybe traversing a beam while a mobile anchor slides along quietly behind them. But there are many workers whose jobs have them literally locked in suspension to the structure they are working on, and who may remain in that position (depending on the nature of work) for hours on end. Of course, I’m talking about Work Positioning.

A Specialized Application

Work Positioning is unique in that, instead of relying on a fall protection system that will allow you the freedom to move about your workspace, you need a system that will hold you securely in place while allowing you to perform often delicate tasks with both hands. Ever see formwork being performed on a foundation during construction? No doubt you have seen workers seemingly stuck to the side of a tower of steel tying rebar; that’s Work Positioning. Or maybe you wonder how a worker stays in place while installing a cellular antenna high on a steel pole with no anchor point above them? That’s also Work Positioning. As you can probably imagine, Work Positioning systems are quite different from standard Fall Protection systems, and require some specialized equipment and practices - and it all begins with the harness.

Work Positioning harnesses include extra D-Rings (sometimes as many as four) in order to accommodate working in these specialized circumstances. The most commonly used D-Rings for Work Positioning are side (or hip) D-rings, which, when used in conjunction with a positioning device (more on those later), allow a worker to stand securely while still having their hands and upper body free to perform their work.  In addition to side D-rings, harnesses (like our Halo Tower Harness) sometimes include a bosun chair and yet another pair of D-rings to make long-term stationary work as comfortable as possible. The use of these rings and the bosun chair orients the worker in more of a sitting position, and is designed for instances where footrests are not always available.

Show Me The Assemblies

Connectors for Work Positioning typically come in the form of a “Y” assembly, whereby two snap hooks are connected by a short piece of web or chain, and a third, larger, rebar hook attaches to the web or chain between the two snap hooks. By attaching the two snap hooks to the side D-rings of a harness and the rebar hook to a rebar tower or other suitable anchor, the worker is held in secure, close proximity to the work area. Here are examples of typical Work Positioning chain and web assemblies:

And here is one in use: