Sit Harnesses- For professional Industrial Use and Rescue
In order to ensure optimum safety and performance, please study and understand these instructions before using the product.
The RAT (Rescue and Access Technician), the RAM (Rescue and Alpine Mountaineering) and the Polecat (PCH) are three types of sit harness, based on our well proven mountaineering harness design, for professional use in industry and mountain rescue.
Each harness is designed to be used for rope access, work positioning and restraint, rescue purposes for use by the rescuer for self rescue However, each has its own special features. All three models use the same buckling / adjustment / fastening system, are fully adjustable and comprise of a padded belt and connected, padded leg loops.
- The RAT is a luxurious model which conforms to the European standard for sit harnesses, EN813. Further, the waist support conforms to the requirements of EN358. Work positioning systems (Lineman's pole belts). This harness incorporates equipment carrying loops
- The Polecat follows the same luxurious design as the RAT. It is fitted with side attachment points for connection of a polestrap so that in addition to the general use described above, it can be used as a linesman's pole belt (with the extra safety and comfort benefits of the leg loops). The Polecat conforms fully to EN813 and EN358.
- The RAM is a compact yet still very comfortable version of the RAT It is fitted with equipment carrying loops and conforms to EN813.
To meet current European standard requirements the manufacturer are obliged to state that sit harnesses are not suitable for fall arrest purposes, although the manufacturer do not believe this to be entirely true. If there is a risk of a free fall we must therefore advise the use of a full body harness to EN361. This can be easily achieved by connecting a suitable chest harness to any of the sit harnesses.
- Pick up the harness by the waist pad.
- Hold the harness open and check that there are no twists.
- Place the waist belt / pad around the waist with the two bar buckle to the left and hold it together at the front with one hand.
- Bring the belay loop up between the legs.
- Thread the 2 bar buckle end of the waist belt through the belay loop and then clip the belay loop into position using the twopart belay loop retainer buckle.
- Fasten the waist belt making sure that the waist pad is central on the waist and the belay loop is central at the front when the waist belt is tight Retain the loose end of the waist strap through the elastic tidy provided. If there is insufficient strap to do this the waist belt is too small Choose a larger size of harness.
- N.B. The waist belt should be a snug fit. It must be fitted and correctly fastened in such a way that it cannot slip below the waistline of the wearer.
- Fasten and secure both leg loops to a snug fit. Retain the loose ends of the thigh straps through the elastic tidies provided If there is insufficient strap to do this the leg loops are too small. Choose a larger size of harness.
- Check again that the fit and fastening of the harness has been carried out correctly.
Tying in (attachment)
- Either tie in with the end of the rope as shown in Fig l0a using a bowline or figure of eight knot (with back up knot) or use a figure of eight loop with a connector (karabiner) and connect directly into the belay loop.
- Using the belay loop for all security including anchorage, descending and ascending.
- Connect a chest harness using a bowline or figure of eight knot (with a back up knot) as shown in figures if a full body harness is required.
Please adhere strictly to the following advice and recommendations. If in doubt on any point please contact the manufacturer.
- Before first use is recommended that the user should carry out a suspension test in a safe place to ensure that the harness is the correct size, has sufficient adjustment and is of an acceptable comfort level for the intended use.
- IN USE REGULARLY CHECK ANY BUCKLES OR ADJUSTMENT DEVICES FOR CORRECT FASTENING / ADJUSTMENT
- NEVER USE THE EQUIPMENT CARRYING LOOPS FOR PERSONAL SECURITY
- Connectors should conform ideally to EN362 and therefore have a strength of at least 15kN.
- Manual locking connectors should be used only where they do not have to be attached and removed frequently during a working day In this case self-locking connectors are advised.
- Connection to the front attachment point, (belay loop), may be made either by tying in directly with the rope or lanyard or via a suitable connector. The connector should either be a double action hook or a karabiner with either an automatic or manual locking gate and should be the smallest available that meets the above requirements.
- If tying in directly with rope, use either a figure of eight or bowline knot, backed up by a stopper knot.
Side attachment dees (Polecat)
- These are designed for polestrap, work positioning or restraint use only and must always be used as a pair They are not intended to be used singly. A polestrap may be connected using either double action hooks or karabiners with automatic or manual locking gates. In use always adjust the polestrap so that any possible free fall is limited to a maximum of 0.5m.
Equipment racking system (RAM, RAT & PCH)
- The equipment carrying loops provided are for the sole purpose of carrying equipment, e.g. spare karabiners, slings, descender, ascender, etc. They are not designed to be load bearing and therefore must never be used as part of the safety system.
When the harness is used for work restraint, ensure that the length of the lanyard is short enough to prevent the user from reaching zones where the risk of a fall from a height exists.
- Please adhere strictly to the following advice and recommendations. If in doubt on any point please contact the manufacturer.
- The user should be correctly instructed in the fastening and use of the rescue equipment and any ancillary components which should conform to relevant standards.
- Other components within any fall arrest system in which this product is used should conform to relevant European standards (EN's) or in their absence other appropriate standards.
- Before use the user should ensure that the other components in the system are compatible and that the safe function of any one component will not be affected by, or interfere with the safe function of another.
- This equipment should be used only by trained and/or otherwise competent persons or the user should be under the direct supervision of such a person This information in this guide is not exhaustive and cannot be substituted for proper instruction.
- Working heights is potentially dangerous. The consequences of incorrect selection, use or maintenance of equipment could result in damage, serious injury or death. It is the user's responsibility at all times to ensure that he/she understands the correct and safe use of any equipment sold by the manufacturer or authorizedagent, uses it only for the purpose for which it is designed and practices all proper safety procedures.
- SELS can provide suitable courses in product awareness, use and rescue. Contact Us for details.
- Always keep this product below 50°C as the performance of nylon and polyester may be affected above this. (The rear parcel shelf of a car in hot weather for example, can exceed this temperature).
- Tests down to -40°C show no permanent change in performance of nylon although the webbing may stiffen while less than 0°C.
- Ensure that anchor points are strong enough to hold the user particularly in the event of a fall. These should be at least 15kN. Avoid using structural members with sharp edges as an anchorage for rope or webbing lanyards but if this is not possible, the lanyard should be effectively sleeved to protect against damage.
- WHEREVER POSSIBLE ANCHOR POINTS SHOULD BE ABOVE THE USER TO LIMIT ANY FALL TO LESS THAN THE LENGTH OF THE SAFETY LINE OR LANYARD.
- In the event of a fall the harness should be withdrawn from service and replaced.
- Before and during use, consider carefully how rescue may be carried out safely and efficient I y if the necessity arises. SELS operate instructional courses covering all types of rescue scenarios. Contact us for details.
- Visually inspect immediately before each use to ensure the product is in a serviceable condition and operates correctly. In addition an examination should be carried out at least every twelve months by a competent person authorised by the manufacturer.
- These inspections should be recorded In each case particular attention should be paid to areas of potentially high wear such as attachment points, buckles, connectors and sewn joints.
Inspect as follows :
- Textiles: Inspect for cuts, tears and abrasions, damage due to deterioration, contact with heat, acids or other corrosives.
- Sewing: Check for broken, cut or worn threads.
- Metals: Inspect for cracks, distortion, corrosion, wear by abrasion, burrs, worn or loose rivets or screws, discoloration caused by extreme heat (greater than 100°C), broken springs, frays or cuts, seizure of moving parts, broken or missing components.
Any item showing any defect should be withdrawn from service immediately. The user's life depends on it. Any repair work should only be carried out by the manufacturer or with their authorisation.
NB Keep the product clean and dry Remove any excess moisture with a clean cloth then allow to dry naturally in a warm room away from direct heat.
- First rinse in clean cold water. If stilled soiled wash in clean warm water (max. 40°C) with pure soap or a mild detergent (within a pH range of 5.5 to 8.5).
- Examples are Lux Flakes or Stergene.
- The use of a washing machine is permissible but place the product in a suitable bag to protect against mechanical damage.
- Thoroughly rinse in clean cold water.
- Clean off tar based products with appropriate petroleum solvents following the instructions for use for such products Afterwards wash, rinse and dry as described above.
- Avoid all contact with any chemicals which could affect the performance of the product.
- These include all acids and strong caustic substances (e.g. vehicle battery acid, bleach etc.).
- Discard the product immediately if contact occurs or is even suspected.
- A list of chemicals and their effect is available on request.
- If used in a marine environment always thoroughly rinse the product in clean cold water after each use.
- Technically, a suitable disinfection is one which contains quaternary ammonium compounds reinforced with chlorhexidine, in sufficient quantities to be effective.
- A common example is Savlon.
- Soak the product for one hour at dilution's recommended for general use, use clean water not exceeding 20°C, then rinse thoroughly with clean cold water.
- After cleaning and drying and before storing, metal components, particularly those with moving parts should be lubricated sparingly using a light oil, or they may be lightly greased.
- After necessary cleaning, store unpacked in a cool, dry, dark place in a chemically neutral environment away from excessive heat or heat sources, high humidity, sharp edges, corrosives or other possible causes of damage.
- Do not store wet.
- Where there is a need for long shelf like it is advisable to store in a moisture proof packaging (e.g. a polythene bag) to minimise oxidation.
- Beyond five years, sealed packaging in an inert gas is recommended (e.g. dry nitrogen).
It is difficult to estimate this but as a guide we advise as follows:
Do not use more than ten years after date of manufacture or fiveyears after first use, whichever is sooner. This assumes correct storage. Working life can vary between a single use in extreme circumstances (e.g. highly acidic environment, serious fall) to the maximum of five years, dependant upon how the product is used.
Working life will be reduced through age, general wear and tear, abrasion, cuts, damage to component parts, inappropriate ancillary equipment, high impact load, prolonged exposure to UV light including sunlight, elevated temperature (50°C max) exposure to chemical reagents (e.g. bleach, acids etc) or failure to store and maintain as recommended. This list is not exhaustive.
Care should be taken to protect the equipment against risks such as those detailed under Lifespan. A simple, effective way is to transport the equipment in a suitable bag or container.
Please note designs are being constantly updated in line with our development programme, so may not to be precisely as described or illustrated.
Any strengths quoted are when the product is tested new and are in accordance with manufacturer’s test methods or to the appropriate standard. Any weights and measurements are approximate. Nothing in this document consumer's statutory rights.
Thank you for taking the time to read this user's guide. The advice and instructions given are intended to be informative, but please remember that they are not a substitute for proper training, which the SELS can provide if required. If you have any ideas how the guide or product can be improved, we would welcome your views.