Comfortable harness or seat for an extended stay on rope

Discuss vertical caving, equipment, & techniques. Also visit the NSS Vertical Section.

Moderator: Tim White

Comfortable harness or seat for an extended stay on rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 19, 2012 7:36 pm

I'm terrible sorry, this isn't a caving question.
I'm going to be doing some industrial painting in a few weeks that will involve ropework. I'll be painting high structural steel and some machinery. Much of the area is inaccessible from lifts, so I'll be coming down from catwalks or roof trapdoors or climbing the steel. This is kind of a new thing for the contractor so he's letting us figure out our own methods of reaching everything.

I'm not concerned about anything except how to hang comfortably for an extended period of time. We're painting with sprayers so there will be plenty of moving from spot to spot, but I'll be hanging off and on for 12+ hours a day.
I clearly cannot simply hang in my caving or climbing harness; any suggestions? I thought about making a seat of some sort that I could attach to the rope with an ascender but I'm not sure how easy it will be to move all that crap (seat, sprayer, hose, self) up and down the rope.
User avatar
GroundquestMSA
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1343
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm
  

Re: Comfortable harness or seat for an extended stay on rope

Postby PeterFJohnson » May 19, 2012 8:27 pm

What you are looking for is a bosuns chair. There are plenty of ready made solutions on the market but frankly most aren't worth the money and those that are are a bit spendy for a once off gig(The nicely made Petzl Podium is something like $160 bucks). Your best bet is to take a cheap skateboard deck and cut the curved up ends off. Size it so it is just about wide enough for you to sit in. Too wide and it will get in the way while moving around off rope. Then drill holes in the deck as well as the curved ends and run webbing through the holes and the ends to provide a broader surface to distribute the weight of the webbing across your thighs and you have yourself a bosuns chair that is about as good as anything you can buy. Sizing of the webbing is important to get the right fit. And some cheap foam pad on the seat goes a long way for comfort. PM me your email address and I can send you pics. Otherwise I will try to post them tomorrow.

The important thing to remember is that any bosuns chair SHOULD NOT be part of your life safe system. You can clip the bosuns directly into the descender carabiner(or your dlink) so that your weight is on the bosuns, but you should still have that carabiner clipped into your harness in case the bosuns chair fails. As I mentioned email me and I can send you pictures of the safe way to do this.

If you are using a sprayer prepared to get pretty well coated on rope. There are some things you can do to protect your rope and gear but chances are the rope will get hit. There are many paints that don't seem to affect ropes, but from my non scientific experience it does seem like some reducing agents(which are often used with sprayers) as well as the solvents used to clean paint do affect parts of vertical systems. It might be worth exposing nylon gear to the paint you plan to use to see if there is any effect.

Check out IRATA and SPRAT as well. They are two organizations that create standards for this type of work, which is generally known as rope access or industrial rope access.
User avatar
PeterFJohnson
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Nov 12, 2010 6:29 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Colorado Grotto + GVKS
  

Re: Comfortable harness or seat for an extended stay on rope

Postby dcfdrescue2 » May 19, 2012 8:42 pm

Any type of workseat, bossun's chair, like a Petzl Podium, will probably be the way to go. It's like being in a la-z-boy compared to a harness. They attach to the main connection point on your harness and can be used during ascending and descending.

http://www.elevatedsupply.com/petzl-podium/
dcfdrescue2
Infrequent Poster
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Jul 6, 2006 6:41 pm
  

Re: Comfortable harness or seat for an extended stay on rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 19, 2012 8:46 pm

Thanks Peter, I'll give you my address.

We're using dryfall with the sprayers, and a 2 part epoxy with rollers.
User avatar
GroundquestMSA
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1343
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm
  

Re: Comfortable harness or seat for an extended stay on rope

Postby ron_miller » May 20, 2012 12:11 pm

If you're going to be hanging from a rope doing rope-access work, I strongly recommend getting a harness designed for rope access work. There are several out there, including the Petzl Navaho, Navaho Bod, the PMI Avatar, several from Yates, and various others. My personal favorite in terms of comfort is the Ropeworks rope access harness, which is a modified version of the Yates, available here: http://www.ropeworksgear.com/s.nl/it.A/ ... tegory=103.

None of these are inexpensive, but you'll notice a huge difference vs. a caving or climbing harness when you hang on rope for much of the day, multiple days a week.

If you're going to be sitting while suspended from rope for significant amounts of time, I also highly recommend the Petzl Podium as a work seat, in addition to the above.

Ron Miller
SPRAT Level 2 Rope Access Lead Technician
ron_miller
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 235
Joined: Jan 5, 2007 6:24 pm
  

Re: Comfortable harness or seat for an extended stay on rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 20, 2012 6:57 pm

ron_miller wrote:None of these are inexpensive, but you'll notice a huge difference vs. a caving or climbing harness when you hang on rope for much of the day, multiple days a week.


I'm sure that these are nice options, but I'm not buying a harness for a one time job.
User avatar
GroundquestMSA
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1343
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm
  

Re: Comfortable harness or seat for an extended stay on rope

Postby PeterFJohnson » May 20, 2012 9:53 pm

GroundquestMSA wrote:
ron_miller wrote:None of these are inexpensive, but you'll notice a huge difference vs. a caving or climbing harness when you hang on rope for much of the day, multiple days a week.


I'm sure that these are nice options, but I'm not buying a harness for a one time job.


Would you change your mind if I told you it was a $400 harness? In the name of full disclosure I should mention that without a full body harness you will not be OSHA compliant.

I checked and the podium is closer to $200 not the $160 I quoted before. Below are pictures of what I built and use more days than not. At a total cost of $20 I can assure you that it is at least 1/10 the value of a Petzl Podium!

If you do feel like spending a bit of cash a second rope and a back up rope grab are a good start. You can even use the two tails of the same rope if your drops are short as long as they are independently rigged. And your local crane rigging company or wire rope company can sell you span set slings or wire rope slings at about $10 a pop that will go a long way in avoiding abrasion of your anchor materials. Industrial settings have a lot of sharp metal edges. Call nearby fire departments for retired fire hose and you will have all the free rope pads you ever need. My advice is to try to get the cost of all these things written into the bid. A couple hundred bucks for gear is probably far less than what it would take for them to rent a boom lift or use scaffolding.

I don't have any experience with any of the various dryfall paints, but I have heard second hand reports of some two part epoxies making ropes pretty brittle and unsafe. Nothing I have seen firsthand, so you will have to judge for yourself. Generally most paints are pretty viscous and therefore don't immediately penetrate to the core of a rope unless you soak it. Therefore they are only going to affect the sheath, with is generally around 15% of total strength. Doesn't mean it won't ruin your rope, but incidental exposure probably won't cause catastrophic failure. They will however make descending that rope a bumpy ride once they dry. From what I can gather, no comprehensive study regarding paint and vertical gear exists. So you are on your own. But you are far more likely to die from rope abrasion/incorrectly locking off or rigging your descender/poor rigging. At least that's what all the accident reports are about. But as always be careful with whatever you are putting on your vertical gear.

Image

Image
User avatar
PeterFJohnson
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Nov 12, 2010 6:29 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Colorado Grotto + GVKS
  

Re: Comfortable harness or seat for an extended stay on rope

Postby chh » May 22, 2012 3:39 pm

Actually, it depends on the industry whether or not you need a full body harness to be OSHA compliant. In my field, arboriculture, you are not required to have a full body harness to work in a tree. I don't know anything about the industry standards for painting or steel work, so can't comment there. A friend of mine worked building roller coasters and they had to have 3 seperate lines. One for positioning, one as fall protection, and another for their tools. All I'm saying is that there are a lot of different regulations.
However, Groundquest, you NEED to do some more research into this if you are even thinking of doing it, and here isn't the place to get those answers. It makes me leary of your boss just letting you figure out all that stuff on your own. I would start with whether or not you are eligable for worker's comp, whether the guy you are doing it for is even paying into it etc. Or, if you are working for yourself as an independant contractor and OSHA shows up on your job site, the liability (and potential fines which can be substantial) are worth investigating. While I'm sure you can figure out a way to do the work and keep yourself safe, that is sometimes not enough.
I'm sure the information is out there, probably lots of trade publications aimed at folks who do the stuff you're thinking of doing every day. Find these resources.
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
User avatar
chh
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 522
Joined: Oct 4, 2005 3:21 pm
Location: asheville, nc
Name: caleb
NSS #: 55745
  

Re: Comfortable harness or seat for an extended stay on rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » May 22, 2012 8:04 pm

chh wrote:However, Groundquest, you NEED to do some more research into this if you are even thinking of doing it, and here isn't the place to get those answers. It makes me leary of your boss just letting you figure out all that stuff on your own. I would start with whether or not you are eligable for worker's comp, whether the guy you are doing it for is even paying into it etc. Or, if you are working for yourself as an independant contractor and OSHA shows up on your job site, the liability (and potential fines which can be substantial) are worth investigating. While I'm sure you can figure out a way to do the work and keep yourself safe, that is sometimes not enough.


I do these jobs (industrial painting and cleaning) once or twice a year for the same contractor. This is simply the first time we've had to reach such a difficult place. I appreciate your suggestions. In this case however I'm not concerned about OSHA or workman's comp or liabilities and fines, just doing the work and keeping myself safe. The only issues I had with the job have been resolved with the help of these good folks, and now I'm ready to paint.

Thanks everyone.
User avatar
GroundquestMSA
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1343
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm
  


Return to On Rope!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron