A climbing harness is an item of climbing equipment for rock-climbing, abseiling, or other activities requiring the use of ropes to provide access or safety such as industrial rope access, working at heights, etc. A harness secures a person to a rope or an anchor point. In its simplest form, a harness can be made from a length of rope or a nylon webbing tied round the waist. However this is extremely uncomfortable unless the wearer is very light. It can also ride up to the abdomen or even the diaphragm under load and cause serious injury. Looping the rope between the legs will prevent this, though care should be taken to avoid sensitive areas. More sophisticated harnesses exist in many patterns, designed to give greater comfort and security, and more options for carrying equipment. While harnesses can be improvised, it is more common to use commercially produced harnesses, which often include padding and amenities such as gear loops. Most commercial climbing harnesses meet the guidelines and manufacturing standards of organizations such as the Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme (UiAA) or European Committee for Standardization. Harnesses should be attached to dynamic (stretchy) rope, except possibly when abseiling where the rope is always taut.
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