Safety and fall protection equipment are vital for keeping crews safe while working on construction projects involving heights. Most safety harnesses use D-Rings as the connection point for attaching lanyards and straps. When you need more mobility and length for the back D-Ring on your safety harness, consider adding a D-Ring Extender.
What Is a D-Ring?
Dorsal D-Rings are an essential piece of any harness used by workers for fall protection. They get their name from being generally D-Shaped, though their shapes vary in design. D-Rings are tie-down rings that act as anchors on harnesses used to hold workers tightly with a rope or cord to prevent falling.
How Do D-Rings Work?
D-Rings on the back of your harness are the only connection point for fall arrest lanyards and fall protection systems. On the back of our harnesses, we position the D-Ring to be centered between shoulder blades. Putting the D-Ring in a high position ensures workers will stay upright if a fall occurs and ensures the force from the fall is evenly and safely distributed throughout the body.
Having a fall protection system ensures workers know what to do and can stay safe if they slip while working at a height. D-Rings help secure a worker’s position by restricting movement. If your employees have trouble reaching the D-Ring on their harness, they can use additional features like D-Ring extenders.
What are D-Ring Extenders?
D-Ring Extenders are an excellent tool for increasing your mobility. They allow easier access to the D-Ring to quickly hook up your fall protection equipment. If you use a safety harness extender, ensure it’s the only attachment hooked on your harness’s back D-Ring. That way, nothing else can constrict the extender’s mobility. When using a D-Ring Extender, there are some special considerations to keep in mind, like adding 18″ to your fall clearance calculations.
D-Ring Extenders are useful for many fall protection circumstances, but there can also be some limits. The extra length for fall protection can result in a worker having more swing force when they fall. Additionally, D-Ring Extenders are suitable for some jobs but not others.
Dynamic Discussions: D-Ring Extender Restrictions and Use
There are many different styles for D-Ring Extenders. You have a locking connector on one end that connects to your dorsal ring, then you have the extension, which you can then hook up your lifeline too. If someone can’t reach up or can’t reach over, depending on where they are tied off, it makes a very versatile piece of gear.
However, they do not come without restrictions. Suppose you’re using a D-Ring Extender with a leading-edge lifeline. If you’re at foot-level tie-off and your cable encounters an edge, you should not be using a D-Ring Extender. What this does is when you connect your extender to your snap hook, it moves your shock pack back away from your snap hook. If the webbing on your lifeline meets a sharp edge, it can sever the lifeline, and we want to decrease the chance of that happening.
It is not recommended that you use a D-Ring Extender with a leading-edge lifeline scenario. If you’re anchoring overhead, it’s fine to use. When you are doing your fall clearance calculations, you’ll want to add the length of your D-Ring Extender to those calculations.
Remember, we’re hooked on safety!