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Safety harnesses and other safety

giles

Village idiot and local whore
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Ok, so I kinda went on a small rant last week about fall arrest systems and made mention of starting a thread. I am no safety man and most of what I’m going to say is backed on belief, some will be with facts. I challenge you guys to challenge anything I say and share your opinion and facts. This also isn’t limited to fall arest, this is for all things related. To include checking tree stand straps.

I find it unbelievable how many people treat that harness as a safety blanket. This is far from true boys and girls. That damn thing will kill you just as much as a fall. From improperly wearing it to it cutting off blood flow. If you wouldn’t do it without a harness, you probably shouldn’t be doing it at all.

YouTube is littered with videos on the proper way to wear any given harness. Look it up! Comfort is not the goal when they make them, keeping you alive long enough to perform a rescue is.

J mentioned the style that has tethers that come down to be able to stand in to help blood flow. (Damn squirrel just jumped on my blind and I think I lost 2 drops of pee...)
This would be the only harness I would wear. Ones without like the style that come with stands, just aren’t worth it to me. I’d rather take my chance with the sudden stop at the ground. Once again though, wearing it improperly does you no good! You also want to know how to use those standing tethers before you fall, so check that out as well.

Here is some information on how a harness can kill you. http://elcosh.org/document/1662/d000568/will-your-safety-harness-kill-you?.html
 

giles

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Now let’s talk about your anchor point. Be sure that it’s going to hold you! OSHA says 5,000 lbs is what it needs to be. Overkill? Sure, but I’m ok with that. I know that when I roll to the stand with my pack and all my shit, I’m pushing 250 lbs. put that 250 on a free fall for a few feet and I promise it’s going to impact much more then 250 or even 500 lbs.

think of it like a hammer. I can put that 2 lb hammer on my foot and it doesn’t hurt. Now when I drop that Sumbitch, I’m gonna turn inside out and look like a 2 year old in the cereal section of Wal-Mart.

So know you have a solid anchor point and the rope and attaching devices are rated to hold your fat ass. I wouldn’t want a 500 lb carabiner trying to catch me!
 
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giles

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I think the number is something close to 90% of all tree stand falls happen getting in or out of the stand. That means, your harness should be attached before you leave the ground!
 
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"J"

Bass Whisperer
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Seems the #1 reason for falls is complacency. Getting too comfortable doing it. Being in a hurry and weather conditions. I know I take my time when climbing the ladder stands I hunt. Bulky heavy clothing can also limit mobility too an extent.
 

OhioWhiteTails

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Flatlands
Good reminder Dave. There has been a couple of times where I have climbed up into a stand only to find that there wasn't a tie off strap in the tree. Most of the regular stands that we hunt already have them, but some of the odd stands we hunt infrequently do not. When we hunted down at strouds, the stand I hunted did not have one, as an example. Keeping an extra tie off strap in your hunting pack is a must IMO. I always have one if not two extras in my pack for these occasions.
 

giles

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Glad you started this thread, Dave....
No worries, pretty important stuff here. I may not be the expert, but maybe I am here. Not sure how many people actually wear one of these for work or whatnot. I’m sure not everyone here doesn’t work in an office either. BUT, if I can help one person, this is worth my time. If nothing else, it’ll help me sleep.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is the very last line of defense. I’m not going to grind towards my eyes just because I have glasses on. That’d be stupid, right?
 
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giles

Village idiot and local whore
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Good reminder Dave. There has been a couple of times where I have climbed up into a stand only to find that there wasn't a tie off strap in the tree. Most of the regular stands that we hunt already have them, but some of the odd stands we hunt infrequently do not. When we hunted down at strouds, the stand I hunted did not have one, as an example. Keeping an extra tie off strap in your hunting pack is a must IMO. I always have one if not two extras in my pack for these occasions.
Thanks for coming by, I’m sure in your line of work you could help me find facts here. I was just trying to find the information on how many people get hurt or killed on ladders every year in the US, it’s a stupid high number.
 

"J"

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D1E84871-AA3F-4FCD-87A4-501176857E4C.jpeg
 
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OhioWhiteTails

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Flatlands
Dave, fatalities from falls in the workplace is the second leading cause of deaths in the workplace for the general industry, transportation being number one. It is however the number one leading cause for deaths in the construction industry. I think just under 1,000 deaths in 2016 were falls.
 

giles

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Let’s also talk a little about the stand itself.

Climber stand- ask me why my sections are connected with a rope. I’ve watched the bottom half walk itself back down to the base of the tree before.... It now has a rope that connects the two together so it can’t go far.

Ladder stands- I am the worst about this...most of the straps I have on my stands have moss growing on them. I have never taken them down and inspected the welds or bolts either. This is on my must do list. I am the perfect example of how to NOT treat your ladder stands. My shit is sketchy at best. Maybe that’s why I hunt from the ground 95% of the time. That 5% is what’s gonna hurt me though...
 
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"J"

Bass Whisperer
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Ladder stands are my elevated hunting preference. Each attaching point gets two ratchet straps offset from each other. Ratchets would be 180 degrees from each other. Some have 4 some have 6 depending on the attach points. I look them over at he beginning of each season and all hardware is swapped out with grade 8 bolts and locknuts. No pins left in the stands, everything is bolt and locknut....
 
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Jamie

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I've been climbing in and out of trees for nearly 40 years. I've done it thousands of times, half of them in the dark. there was a time when I did not even own a safety belt. I climb ladders, get on roofs and do dangerous stuff like that nearly everyday in my line of work. I have never had a serious accident (KNOCK ON WOOD). not one, nor has anyone on my watch. real safety is as much about knowledge, experience and common sense as it is about equipment. I've taken chances with my safety in the spirit of saving time, i.e., making more money at work. those days are far behind me now, but I have not ever taken any chances with safety while I'm hunting. hunting alone most of the time, one small accident could kill me. in this age of cell phones that chance is greatly diminished, but I don't have cell service every place I hunt regularly.

three things will get you seriously injured or killed faster than anything else.

1.over-confidence/complacency. I've found that being just a liiiitle bit nervous about doing things that are genuinely dangerous keeps you focused and alert, preventing complacency. conversely, being scared out of your mind/lacking confidence will get you hurt just as fast. be a little afraid, but not too much.

2. ignorance. not understanding what you are doing, how to do it safely, or lacking proper equipment for the task is just asking for trouble.

3. being in a hurry. rushing things that have safety consequences is just fucking stupid. saving two minutes or making a few extra dollars not worth dying for.

every tree stand I have up today, which is a total of 10 at present, has an ascension/safety line. I've never felt or have actually been safer using treestands. I love these things. they are simple and easy to use, no hassle or inconvenience that I have been able to discover. It is impossible to fall using these. I ALWAYS have a pocket knife that I can operate with one hand readily available on my person in case I find myself dangling too long. I'll cut myself loose and take my chances hitting the ground before I die in a harness if I cannot get my footing.
 

Wildlife

Denny
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Former Electrical High Voltage Linenan here and I just wanted to say, please inspect all your climbing gear regularly if you value your life. That includes all your tree stands as well before you climb into them.

Tree stand straps may look and appear to be just fine at first glance, however the weather takes a tremendous toll on them and dry-rotten straps are very difficult to detect with the naked eye.

Change them appropriately, like once a year for insurance purposes and ease of mind.

I currently use a 'Muddy' tree safty harness with the tether life-strap and 'Life-Lines' at each one of my tree stands.

I always belt in before I leave the ground and then unbelt when both my feet are firmly planted back onto the ground.

I do this more for my family than me cause I'm practically a squirrel in a tree really.

Always have been and I've never been afraid of heights 'TOO'.

In fact, my nickname when I was in powerline school years ago was 'Squirrel', cause I'd climb anything very quickly.

Guys gotta kick out of it, calling me that and it stuck all throughout tech school back in the day.

Be safe fellas cause no deer is worth your life.
 
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