A roofer generally installs, repairs and replaces the roof. For this, he needs to work way above the ground. This makes the job one of the most dangerous professions. And hence, using a safety harness can make it safe for the roofers.

A safety harness is a personal protective equipment that prevents the wearer from falling from a height. It is not only lifesaving equipment but also a comfortable one. That’s why roofers usually pick this as their fall protection system.

I guess you  need to do some roofing stuff. But you don’t have any idea on how to use a safety harness for roofing.

Nothing to worry here even if you don’t have any idea about using a safety harness. That’s because, in this article, we have included important information in this regard.

How To Use A Safety Harness For Roofing:

These are some necessary steps to use a safety harness properly. For you, we are going to share those so that you can use your safety harness conveniently. 

Examine your harness:

Before getting on to the roof, examine the harness carefully. You must ensure that there is no sign of wear and tear. It is recommended not to use a harness that has faced a fall.

You will find a  few straps (generally three, one for each leg and one for the chest) while wearing the harness. Use the buckles to tighten up the strap around each leg as you don’t want to have it loose. Just make sure that the straps snug around perfectly. Don’t make it too tight which restricts your movement.

A harness must fit perfectly to every roofer. Instead of sharing with others, it is best to use a personal harness while roofing.

Calculate the fall clearance:

Fall clearance is the least perpendicular distance between the D-ring and the immediate lower level to prevent the worker from hitting the lower level. The lower level can be either the ground level or the lower working platform.

Before roofing, you have to measure your fall clearance. For this, you need to sum up a few measurements. These are

Freefall distance:

This is the distance that your fall protection system will allow you to fall before it begins to slow down the pace of the fall. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards, this distance should not be more than 6 ft.

Deceleration distance:

At the moment of a sudden fall, the lanyard starts to stretch. This length of the stretch is called the deceleration distance. Under OSHA regulations, this may not be bigger than 3.5 ft.

Harness stretch:

Generally the harness stretches when a sudden fall occures. The length of the stretch depends on the manufacturing of the harness. Roofers usually assume it to be 1 ft.

Back D-ring height:

The height of the dorsal D-ring from the user’s feet. It varies from person to person.

Safety margin:

This is the extra distance to ensure adequate distance between the worker and the lower level. 

The calculated distance should not be equal or larger than the available distance to fall. In that case, you must shorten some parts of your fall protection system.

How To Use A Safety Harness For Roofing

Install anchor points:

After examining the harness properly and calculating the fall clearance, you have to set up the anchor point. Anchor point is a metal anchor where your fall protection system connects to the roof. There are a few holes for nails and screws. 

You will find the recommended instructions of installation given by the manufacturer in the label of the anchor. Select the recommended screws and nails, and install them into the right places. Make sure that you have installed enough nails or screws.   

Connect the harness:

Now, you have to connect the remaining part of your fall protection system to the anchor.

Connect your lifeline (the rope that connects the lanyard and rope grab to the anchor point and the harness) to the anchor. Then, connect the rope grab (a metal clamp that connects the lanyard and the lifeline) and the lanyard to the lifeline. Link the lanyard to the dorsal D-ring. Then, connect the lanyard to the ring. If you are new in roofing you may need somebody to help. 

Avoid extreme distance:

Stay as close to the anchor point as possible. Thus, you have to move your anchor point while changing your position on the roof. You can set up a few anchor points and switch from one to another while moving on the roof.


We have tried to describe every step in detail. I guess, after reading this article, now you have necessary information on how to use a safety harness for roofing.

Though you know all the steps, you still need to be very careful while roofing. I hope this article will help you in roofing without facing any difficulties.


As a civil engineer and roofer, I love to share the experience that I have gained through the last couple of years. In the roofing industry, practical experience is a very crucial fact that can help you a lot. Hence, I want to help you with my blog.

Write A Comment