There is a vast array of different industrial applications where harnesses are required. There is also a wide array of different harnesses, all of which do slightly different jobs. I have attempted to split the harnesses we stock into broad categories below.
Harnesses in this category are designed to hold a person in a safe position in the case of a fall from height until they can rescue themselves or be rescued. To do this they need to have leg loops as well as support around the shoulders to prevent the body from falling out of the harness in the case of an inversion. Due to this they are also often called a full-body harness; sit harnesses cannot be used on their own in a fall-arrest system. To reduce the risk of this, most use either a sternal (chest) or dorsal (back) attachment point, and many will have both. When attached to a fall-arrest system in this manner the body will be held upright, in a safe position. It is preferable that these harnesses are as light as possible, while still doing their job, so that the user can work unimpeded.
The harness we sell that conforms to the standards for a fall-arrest harness (EN361) is the Petzl Newton. This has dorsal and sternal attachments, different coloured upper and lower sections (so that it is simple to put on), and offers good freedom of movement. To compliment this we sell the Petzl Jak, which is a stiffened mesh jacket that links into the upper half of the harness, making it more comfortable and easier to put on. We also stock the Lift Spacer, which allows the user to be lowered vertically into narrow spaces.
Work positioning refers to the more rigorous working scenarios, where the worker must use ropes and lanyards to obtain a position from which they can work. As it can be necessary to spend long periods of time suspended, the harness must be very well padded and supportive. As well as for comfort, a well-padded harness reduces the risk of suspension trauma in an emergency. The main attachment point will be ventral (on the waist) to give a central point. To give other options for work positioning the most useful will also have lateral attachment (on each hip) so that adjustable lanyards can be used to pull the worker in the required direction.
Due to the lack of shoulder straps, these harnesses are not suitable for use in a fall-arrest situation, however, by attaching them to a chest harness such as the Petzl Chester they can be used where they may be the risk of a fall. The Chester can be found in the Chest Harnesses section.
The harness in our stock that meet the EN358 standard for work positioning is the Petzl Navaho Vario. The Navaho Vario is a multi-purpose work positioning harness, with one ventral attachment and two lateral attachment points. For prolonged suspension, it is recommended that it is used with the Petzl Podium work seat.
This category comprises harnesses that will do a bit of everything. To satisfy the demands of fall-arrest standards they need to include shoulder straps, as well as dorsal and sternal attachment points. They are also required to be well-padded around the legs and have ventral and lateral attachment points.
The harness that satisfies both the criteria for fall arrest (EN361) and work positioning (EN358) is the Petzl Navaho Bod. This is a bit bulky for pure fall-arrest applications, but for most other uses it is perfect, offering a good blend of safety and comfort. It can be combined with the Podium for prolonged periods of suspension.