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8th October 2004

Checkmates new PPE range – just what the doctor ordered

Market leader in the manufacture of personal protective equipment Checkmate UK Ltd, has taken doctor’s orders into account when designing their new Professional range of harnesses and lanyards. The Kent company, which was awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise this year, asked Registered Osteopath and Naturopathic physician Dr Jon H Leigh to work with them on the design of their new range and provide an assessment of its capability.

Dr Leigh, who has 32 years experience of treating patients with industrial injuries, including falls from height, tested and examined the equipment assessing its comfort, wearability and physiological benefits.

Dr Leigh’s report stresses the importance of any safety harness being fitted correctly and being comfortable for the user. Checkmate’s harnesses have a strap, which acts as a seat to relieve pressure on the leg loops together with a wide back strap to give support to the lower and middle back. Abdominal straps hold the vertical straps in place to prevent separation whilst it is being worn and, in the event of a fall, stops the torso pitching forward out of the harness.

One of the most commonly heard complaints voiced about safety harnesses is that they are difficult to put on. Checkmate has addressed this issue by integrating additional material into the design to make it as easy to put on as a jacket. This prevents the harness from being put on back to front or even inside out.

In his report Dr Leigh describes the type of injuries the body is subjected to during the trauma of a fall from height and explains the physical stress on the body caused by the action of falling. He also stresses the importance of preventing the motion of fall arrest from being transmitted through the wearer’s body as this can cause serious damage. The PAL shock absorbing lanyard, as developed by Checkmate, addresses this issue by paying out more progressively over a greater distance. This reduces the whiplash effect and minimises damage to the soft tissue, which is in contact with the safety harness.

Dr Leigh concluded “In my examination of Checkmate’s personal protective equipment I found that the key issues likely to cause death or injury of the worker in the event of a fall from height had been well researched and has led to the production of an excellent product.”

The new Checkmate Professional Range of harnesses and lanyards, in the new distinctive red and black colours, is now available.