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Hip D-Rings, also known as "Side D-Rings" or "Positioning D-Rings" are usually an option on most fall protection safety harnesses. If you've ever purchased a fall protection safety harness, you most likely had to decide if you should purchase a harness with side D-rings.
Hip D-Rings are NOT for fall protection. In other words, they are not to be used as the attachment point for any fall protection device like a shock absorbing safety lanyard or self retracting lifeline. In fact, this could actually result in serious injury or death.
Hip D-Rings, like found on our 22850B fall protection harness, are designed only for positioning and restraint. What are these? It will help to explain a couple of specific positioning and restraint applications: climbing utility poles or vertical rebar work.
In both of these applications, a positioning lanyard (different from a fall protection lanyard) is attached to the Hip D-Rings and wrapped around the pole or rebar. Once done, this enables the worker to position themselves by leaning back and creating tension on the positioning lanyard. Now stabilized, the worker can work comfortably at a specific location.
Notice that in either of these examples, Hip D-Rings are NOT used for fall protection. Importantly, the worker in the vertical rebar scenario would still be attached at the Back D-Ring to a fall protection device.
The answer is more than likely...no. For most applications, including confined space entry, a Back D-Ring is all that is needed. For example, both the rescue winch and self-retracting lifeline cables attach simultaneously to the Back D-Ring. Crucially, it is the Back D-Ring that is rated for fall protection. The Hip D-Rings are not.
If you need more assistance or guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to us.