Fabrics are Stronger than Steel When it Comes to Safety

Nylon RopeThe spirit of human ingenuity has always pushed people to build things bigger, higher and stronger. But, the higher and bigger things are built, the harder it has become to get to some of their parts for maintenance and repair. Safety has become more and more of a significant concern and entire projects would come to a halt if there was even a hint of considerable danger to the workers.

One of the many ways companies ensure that every project proceeds without anything bad happening is the safety harness. These are the series of ropes that workers strap themselves onto that will support their weight in the event of an accidental fall. But, what are these ropes made of that people would trust their lives to the assumption that they’ll hold?

Stretching Safety

Material selection is the most important part of ensuring the safety of workers, as it should be strong enough to withstand the sum forces of weight, gravity and momentum. Currently, there are four different types of safety harnesses; the two most common, according to safety specialists from Tauranga Hire, are nylon and polyester. Kevlar and Nomex are gaining popularity, of course, but they’re still a bit too costly to mass-produce for anything other than ballistic protection.

Nylon became the first choice of many companies for a number of years, because of its combination of strength and flexibility. Most materials that use a primarily nylon base has a break strength range between 635 and 2500 kilograms. The only problem with nylon is that it’s unsuitable for damp environments, as it absorbs water and can grow mouldy over time.

Polyester is the Answer

This was a problem that polyester seemed to solve; the compound is much stronger than nylon, has greater resistance to abrasion, and doesn’t absorb moisture. Depending on how much of the material is in use, the break strength of a polyester harness can go from 680 to 4500 kilograms.

This doesn’t mean that polyester is the automatic choice, though; there will be some applications wherein the flexibility of nylon can prove a better asset for ensuring safety. Study the environment and the job that needs to get done before making this all-important decision.