A CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approved full-body harness is required in order to safely work at heights, but which harness is right for the job can vary. There are five major class types of full-body harnesses you can use, each designed for a specific task.  

To find out which class your full-body harness belongs to, check the tag. Manufacturers always print the harness class on the tag. By checking the tag when you receive your harness from your employer or when you purchase it yourself, you can confirm that it is the right harness class for the job.


Class A (Fall Arrest) harnesses support your body during and after a fall. These harnesses protect you when you are 1.8M (6ft) or more above the ground. They have a single dorsal D-ring positioned on your back’s upper spine between your shoulder blades to keep you in an upright position.

Class AD (Suspension and Controlled Descent) harnesses support and hold you while being raised and lowered at a worksite. These harnesses have either a single D-ring between the waist and chest or a pair of D-rings at waist and sternum levels.

Class AE (Limited Access) harnesses offer support when raising or lowering you in a near-vertical position during entry and exit from confined spaces. These harnesses have D-rings on the shoulder straps to enable optimal positioning while working.

Class AL (Ladder Climbing) harnesses require a certified fall arrester that travels on a vertical lifeline or a rail. D-rings are on the front of the harness in the chest area for attachment to a vertical ladder system.

Class AP (Work Positioning) harnesses hold and sustain you at a specific location, allowing full use of your hands while limiting any free fall to 61cm (2 feet) or less. These harnesses have D-rings on the hips for ideal positioning while on the job.

It is important to confirm your full-body harness is the right harness class for the job. Always check your harness tag before committing to working at heights.

Published: November 29, 2021
Last Modified: August 10, 2022