Class P work positioning harnesses: what you need to know

All full body harnesses are designed as Class A harnesses. Are you familiar with the other CSA Classes of harnesses and how each should be used?

Class A harnesses have one dorsal (back) fall arresting D-ring, but when other features are added to a harness, the harness class changes. For example, a Class L harness has a D-ring on the front of the sternum (chest) for climbing ladders; a Class D harness is built for suspension and controlled descent; and a Class E harness is built for ingress and egress which is ideal for accessing tight confined spaces.

A Class P harness is designed to allow workers to connect to a work positioning system. This class of harness often poses a danger to the user when used incorrectly.

Class P harnesses

Class P harnesses are classified as work positioning harnesses and are most often used in applications that include working off permanent ladders, working off rebar on construction sites or working on a tower (often in hydro or utility applications). This type of harness has two D-rings, one on each side of the body at around hip level. It is important that these two connection points are used together and never individually. Even when used together, the positioning D-rings should never be used for fall arrest. Unfortunately, this is a dangerous misconception about this type of harness.

Work positioning harnesses are often worn when a worker needs the use of his or her hands when working on station at height. This is because a Class P harness will allow the worker to maintain three points of contact (both feet on the working surface and the lanyard attachment keeping them in place) while giving them the freedom to work with both hands. Depending on the application, different types of lanyards are recommended for use with work positioning harnesses. When tying rebar, for example, a chain or web rebar lanyard is recommended.

Tower workers often opt for an adjustable rope positioning lanyard because it’s lighter and can be wrapped around certain parts of the tower and remain connected to the side D-rings. The rope can be shortened and lengthened as needed so that the worker can lean in different directions while working.  Positioning lanyards can be made from rope, webbing, wire rope, chain and other materials.  They are generally constructed without an energy absorber and are certified to the CSA Lanyard Standard.

For more information about lanyard selection for use with a work positioning safety harness or for help choosing which style of harness is right for your application, reach out to us below and we’d be happy to help.

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