Improving the performance of swift-water rescue quick release harnesses

Loel Collins DProf PGCert University of Central Lancashire Preston United Kingdom

Chris Onions MRes R3 Safety & Rescue Ltd Llangollen United Kingdom



This paper considered the effectiveness of empathic design modifications to quick release harness design. It was found that the critical element in effecting a rapid and efficient release was the tape length distal to the buckle/back-bar components. We have concluded that the length of tape pulled through the buckle and the loading of the buckle/ tri-glide are critical to ensure an effective release. Physical separation of tape and buckle mechanism when the harness is released is crucial to the effective release. We then considered the problems this may pose in multiple user situations such as ‘call out’ teams or training use and we propose that the adaptation utilised in the research harness to facilitate testing may provide a simple and low cost solution to the multiple user problem allowing easy adjustment of the harness to ensure the separation of buckle and tape on release. We conclude by outlining the design adaptations and recommendations for the training and use of the quick release harness and make recommendations for the training of QRH use.

Key words: Quick Release Harness, swift-water rescue, water rescue,

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