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Publication numberUS3466090 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 9, 1969
Filing dateDec 6, 1967
Priority dateDec 6, 1967
Publication numberUS 3466090 A, US 3466090A, US-A-3466090, US3466090 A, US3466090A
InventorsPosey John T
Original AssigneePosey John T
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety harness
US 3466090 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 9, 1969 Y J. T. POSE Y 3,466,090

' SAFETY HARNESS Filed Dec. 6, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet l INVIiNI'OR. L/M/z/ I Pbm Sept. 9, 196 9 J. T. POSEY 3,466,090

SAFETY HARNESS Filed Dec. 6, 1967 Y 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 I N VE N'I'OR. Max/w f/sa Wham/2% Sept. 9, 1969 J. T. pow 3.466090 SAFETY BARNES 5 Filed Dec. 6, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet Z I NVIZNI OR.

L/o/m/ fflam United States Patent 3,466,090 SAFETY HARNESS John T. Posey, 1739 Meadowbrook Road, Altadena, Calif. 91001 Filed Dec. 6, 1967, Ser. No. 688,572 Int. Cl. B60r 21/10; A62b 35/00; A47d 15/00 U.S. Cl. 297-389 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A safety harness having a V-shaped shoulder piece adapted to be placed over a patients head and secured to a first traverse strap provided with loops for connecting it to handles of a support such as a wheel chair. Ends of the shoulder piece adjacent the patients chest are secured to an elongated center piece which mounts a second traverse strap extending transversely away from the center piece in opposing directions. Ends of the second traverse strap are adjustable and adapted to be secured to a member of the chair to restrain a patient sitting in the chair.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to a harness for restraining sitting patients to a support structure such as a wheel chair, for example. The harness is adapted to be placed over the patients shoulders and secured to structural members of the support.

State of the prior art Wheel chair and other patients in a sitting position are frequently not capable of fully controlling their movements. Spasms can cause them to fall out of the chair and sustain injuries. In addition, such patients are often infirm and require full support to restrain them to the chair. Such support is particularly required where the patient is temporarily or permanently paralyzed, has sustained injuries which require him to be substantially immovable, such as back injuries, for example, or where the patient is infirm for other reasons such as old age.

There are a number of restraining devices presently available which support the patient while he is disposed in a wheel chair. One class of such devices provides straps which are substantially horizontally disposed about the patients lower trunk and which are looped around a back rest of the chair and are there tied together. Although these devices restrain the patient to the chair, they do not prevent the trunk of the patient from slumping forward. Moreover, the relatievly narrow straps become uncomfortable to the patient after a relatively short period of time since they rub against the patients body and can pinch the patients skin should he bend his upper trunk forward. In cases where positive support of the full trunk is. required they are not satisfactory. Moreover, these devices often do not exhibit the desired stability on the chair and are movable in a direction parallel to the patients trunk since there are generally no provisions to prevent relative movements between the device and the chair.

Restraining aprons have therefore been devised which cover a substantial portion of the patients front trunk and are provided with a plurality, sometimes as many as six, straps to secure the apron to members of the chair. The restraining aprons support the patient substantially more elfectively and, since they are applied high up the patients chest, prevent the trunk from slumping in the chair. Since the apron proper is relatively large and must assume a shape defined by the patients body when sitting in the chair, a substantial amount of discomfort accompanies their use. The discomfort is mainly the result lCC of wrinkles in the apron, which rub and irritate the patients skin and the constraint upon the patients chest caused by the apron, which interferes with the patients breathing effort. Moreover, the large number of mounting straps make the apron relatively difficult to apply which, in patient care, is one of the principal considerations in determining their utility.

A third class of wheel chair patient restraining devices are so-called safety vests which are applied to the patient similar to a conventional vest. Sides of the vest include straps which are slung around the patients body and the back rest of the chair. They are there tied together to support and substantially immobilize the patient in the chair. In effect, they are quite similar to the above-described first class of wheel chair patient restraining devices except that the areas of contact between the patients body and the vest are substantially wider, thereby reducing the area pressure applied to the body of the patient by the vest and the irritation of the patients skin. Their effectiveness in restraining the patients body, particularly from slumping forward in the chair, is quite limited since the restraint of the vest is limited to the lower portions of the patients trunk. In spite of the fact that the patients shoulders are disposed inside the vest, they are free to move in a forward direction away from the back rest of the chair.

A particular shortcoming common to all presently available wheel chair patient restraining devices is that they are not adjustable for use on patients of different size. When applied to a chair, the restraining device is always disposed at the same position relative to the chair. This causes it to be disposed on different portions of the patients body, depending upon the patients size. The most comfortable and effective position for a patient of one size might be a relatively ineffective and uncomfortable position for a patient having a diiferent size. To rectify this problem, hospitals and other institutions providing chairs for all types and sizes of patients, must stock a large number of difierent sizes of such restraining devices. This, of course, is costly and further contributes to the already high cost of patient care. 0n the other hand, failure to stock an adequate number of different sizes results in an undersirable compromise of the care given a patient.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides a safety harness for use on support structures such as chairs and the like to restrain a patient thereto and prevent him from falling out of it. Briefly, it includes a first traverse strap and a V-shaped shoulder piece. The latter includes first and second belts which are angularly inclined relative to each other. A portion of the belts remote from each other are secured to the first traverse strap and ends of the belts adjacent each other are secured to an elongated center piece which extends in a direction away from the shoulder piece. A portion of the shoulder piece adjacent the first strap and the first strap, are adapted to be connected to the support strutcure. A second traverse strap is secured to the center piece, extends away from it in opposing directions and dis posed substantially transversely to the center piece adjacent the patients trunk. Ends of the second strap are adapted to be secured to a member of the support.

The safety harness of this invention fully supports the patients trunk while he sits and not. only restrains the patients body to the chair, but also prevents it from slumping forward of the back rest of the chair. The V- shaped shoulder piece gently restrains the patients shoulders and .maintains the body in an upright position adjacent the back rest of the chair. The center piece is disposed adjacent the patients chest bone and restrains the lower portions of the patients trunk from moving away from the chairs back rest. Additionally, the second traverse strap grasps side portions of the patients trunk and prevents its lateral movements in the chair.

This harness not only provides large contact areas between the various segments of the device and the patients body to reduce surface pressure on the patients body and accompanying skin irritations, but additionally distributes the restraining forces to those parts of the body where they are most effective. Thus, the belts of the V-shaped shoulder piece grasp the body at the shoulders which are furthest removed from an imaginary pivotal axis about which the trunk pivots when it slumps forward. A minimal restraining force is therefore required since a maximum moment arm relative to the pivotal axis is obtained. Moreover, the center piece of the harness transmits its restraining forces directly to the patients bone structure, namely the chest bone, instead of to soft body portions such as the patients stomach. When applied directly to the bone structure, the required forces are substantially reduced as compared to an equally effective force that must be applied to soft body areas. In addition, the latter causes substantial discomfort to the patient from pinching effects of the restraining device on the soft tissue.

This safety harness is ideally adapted to be adjustable to accommodate patients of different height and weight. The second traverse strap can be moved toward or away from the V-shaped shoulder piece according to the height of the patient. The second traverse strap is further adjustable in a lengthwise direction to increase or decrease its length according to the patients size. It is, therefore, no longer necessary to stock safety harnesses of different sizes, resulting in a corresponding reduction of the operating expenses of hospitals and similar institutions.

This harness can be used on wheel chairs having rear- Wardly extending handles as well as on conventional chairs by providing the first traverse strap or the belts of the shoulder piece with chair-engaging loops.

The safety harness is lightweight and comfortable and does not irritate the patient even after extended periods of use. Its simple construction, moreover, assures low manufacturing costs which can be passed on to the ultimate consumer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective elevational view of a safety harness constructed in accordance with the present invention as applied to a conventional wheel chair and a patient (shown in phantom lines) sitting thereon;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the safety harness, shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary plan view of another harness; and

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view with parts broken away, showing the belt of FIG. 3 installed on a chair.

DESCRlPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring first to FIG. 2, a safety harness includes substantially parallel, laterally spaced first and second traverse straps 12 and 14, a V-shaped shoulder piece 16 connected to the first traverse strap, and an elongated center piece 18 connected to the shoulder piece and the second traverse strap. The safety harness can be constructed of any suitable material, but preferably it is of a strong, reinforced webbing which can be laundered by ordinary means.

The first traverse strap 12 includes a loop 20 adjacent each end of the strap. The loop is preferably constructed integrally with the strap by securing an end 22 to a portion of the strap intermediate the end and a center of the strap. The V-shaped shoulder piece 16 comprises a pair of belts 24 which are angularly inclined relative to each other. Ends 26 0f the belts are remote from each other and are secured to the first traverse strap 12 adjacent the loops 20 thereof. Ends 28 of the belts which are adjacent each other are secured to an end 30 of the preferably rectangularly shaped center piece 18.

In a preferred embodiment of this invention the first traverse strap 12, the belts 24 of the shoulder piece 16, and the center piece 18 are connected to each other by stitching them together. In the alternative they can be secured to each other by other means, such as by rivets (not shown).

The center piece 18 preferably includes a plurality of laterally spaced openings 32 extending transversely to a longitudinal axis of the center piece. The openings have a width which is greater than a width of the second traverse strap 14 to enable the second traverse strap to be inserted and removed from one opening and inserted in another opening. Most conveniently the center piece is constructed by looping a strap 34 about its middle such that each half of the strap is disposed adjacent the other half and ends 36 of the strap are disposed adjacent each other. Intermediate portions of the now doubled up strap are stitched to define the openings 32. The openings can, of course, be defined and constructed otherwise such as by securing individual lengths of material to the strap 34 to define the openings or by using a pair of straps (not shown) having a length equal to the length of the center piece and by suitably stitching the two straps together.

The elongated second traverse strap 14 is disposed in one of the openings 32 of the center piece 18 and has a buckle 38 secured to each end of the strap. The buckle, furthermore, engages the second strap intermediate ends thereof and center piece 18 to define a loop 40 adjacent each end. The length of the second traverse strap can now be adjusted by moving the buckles axially along the second traverse strap. To facilitate the free removal of the second traverse strap from one opening 32 and reinsertion of the strap into another opening, the buckles have a width which is less than the width of the openings. The buckles 38 are preferably of the type which have three substantially parallel bars 42, the ends of the strap being secured to the center bar of the buckle, and which are connected with each other by a pair of substantially parallel cross bars 44, the cross bars being disposed closely adjacent the sides of the strap.

The first traverse strap 12 is of sufficient length to engage it with handle bars 46 (shown in FIG. 1) of a conventional wheel chair 48 if the harness 10 is used in conjunction with a wheel chair. Alternatively, they are of a length to engage them with projecting members (not shown) of a conventional chair or other support which is capable of receiving a patient in a sitting position, The first traverse strap can additionally be provided with buckes 49 adjacent ends 22 of the strap which operate in a manner identical to buckles 38 to enable adjustment of the length of the first strap. This enables its application on supports having different sizes and configurations. This harness is particularly adapted for use on wheel chairs such as are found around hospitals, rehabilitation homes, etc. It is constructed for the size of chair it is used on, which is generally a standard size, and permits quick and timesaving installation. Another embodiment of this invention, described below, provides for adjustability to use the harness in conjunction with most ordinary chairs.

The belts 24 of the V-shaped shoulder piece 16 are of a sufficient length to enable them to be placed over the head and neck of the patient sitting in the wheel chair such that the center piece 18 is disposed adjacent the chest bone of the patient. The second traverse strap 14 is substantially longer than the first traverse strap 12 to alow it to be looped about the patients trunk as well as about a back rest 50 of the wheel chair to connect it to an outward protrusion 52 or to another suitable member of the wheel chair.

Turning now to the application of the safety harness 10, it is applied to a sitting patient, shown in FIG. 1, by initially placing the V-shaped shoulder piece 16 over the patients head such that the belts 24 rest against the patients shoulders on either side of the neck. The first traverse strap 12 is disposed adjacent the patients back and loops 20 of the first strap are slipped over the handle bars 46 of the wheel chair 48. Thereafter, the second traverse strap 14 is adjusted by inserting it in that opening 32 which most comfortably restrains the patient to the chair. According to the patients height, this may be the opening adjacent end 30 of the center piece or one remote therefrom. The second traverse strap is then looped around the truck of the patient and vertical members 54 of the back rest 50. The second strap is crossed behind the back rest of the chair and loops 40 are secured to the rearwardly extending protrusions 52 of the wheel chair. The second strap is tightened by moving the buckles 38 along the strap until the second traverse strap fits snugly around the patients trunk and securely restrains it to the back rest and seat of the wheel chair. In this position, the patient is comfortably but securely constrained from moving in all directions. The V-shaped shoulder piece prevents the patients trunk from slumping forward in the seat and the center piece 18, together with the second traverse strap 14, secures the patients trunk to the back rest and prevents it from sliding away from under the harness. The second traverse strap itself, together with the V-shaped shoulder piece, prevents the patients body from slump sideways. This safety harness provides maximum protection together with maximum comfort since all points of contact between the harness and the body are adjacent the patients bone structure whereby painful pressure against soft portions of the body, such as the patients stomach portion, are avoided. The shoulder piece 16 prevents the pivotal movement of the patients trunk about an axis which is located in the lower section of the patients trunk and acts against the patients collar bone. A minimal force prevents the body from slumping forward since the maximum possible moment arm relative to the pivotal axis in the lower trunk is obtained. Likewise, the second traverse strap 14 is secured to the patients trunk without the exertion of large forces since the forces are transmitted to the patients rib cage instead of the soft stomach portions. Skin irritation from high forces applied thereto by the straps as well as pinching effects where the strap is secured to soft body portions are avoided and the patients comfort is substantially increased.

The safety harness constructed according to this invention can, of course, be applied to a large number of other structures, such as conventional chairs or beds, which support the patient in a sitting position. It is, moreover, readily adapted for use in conjunction with patients having different heights and weights. The openings 32 of the center piece 18 permit the use of the harness for patients of varying height and the adjustability of the second traverse strap from the adjustable loops 40 permit its use in conjunction with patients of widely divergent weight.

Another embodiment of this invention is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The V-shaped shoulder piece 16 is defined by elongated belts 56 which are longer than belts 24 shown in FIG. 2. A first traverse strap 58 is secured to the belts intermediate free ends 60 thereof and the center piece 18. The belts are secured to the center piece in the previously described manner.

Fastening means 62, such as conventional snaps 64 or a Velcro fastener 66 are secured to the belts adjacent the free ends 60. The free ends can thereby be looped and brought back towards the strap 58 and secured to the second half of the fasteners. A plurality of snaps or a long section 67 of Velcro fastening material is preferably provided to enable the lengthening or shortening of a looped length of each belt.

A second traverse strap 68 can be constructed identically to strap 14 shown in FIG. 2. Preferably, however, its ends are provided with Velcro fasteners 70, snaps (not shown) or similar fasteners providing for adjustability, to enable the second strap to be looped over a member 72 of a chair 74 as shown in FIG. 4.

The harness shown in FIG. 3 is used and installed in substantially the same manner as the one shown in FIG. 2. It is especially adapted for use with conventional sitting chairs, geriatric chairs, etc. which do not have handles like most Wheel chairs. The harness is placed over the patients head, the free ends 60 are looped over a cross member 76 of the chair and secured with the fastening means 62. The resulting loop is suitably lengthened or shortened to adapt the harness to the person and the configuration of the chair it is used on. The second strap 68 is crossed behind the chair, ends are looped about the member 72 and fastened with the fasteners 70'.

The patient is now securely held and prevented from falling from the chair. The harness is usable with most chairs or similar support structure because of its adjustability.

I claim:

1. A safety harness for holding a. patient in a chair with a seat and a back having a pair of rearwardly extending handles, the harness comprising:

(a) a first horizontal elongated strap having a separate loop at each end disposed over a respective one of the chair handles;

(b) a pair of elongated shoulder belts each secured at one of their respective ends to the first strap at horizontally spaced locations, each shoulder belt extending up and forward over a. respective shoulder of the patient in the chair and being joined together at their other ends in front of the patient to form a V-shaped shoulder piece;

(c) a vertical center strap secured at its upper end to the apex of the V-shaped shoulder piece;

((1) means defining vertically spaced openings through the center strap; I

(e) an elongated seat strap disposed through one of the openings in the center strap and around the patients waist; and

(f) means for securing each end of the seat strap to the chair.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Blackman 297-389 X JAMES T. MCCALL, Primary Examiner

Patent Citations
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US1050874 *Dec 18, 1911Jan 21, 1913Willard Irving TwomblySafety-harness for aviators.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3604750 *Nov 19, 1968Sep 14, 1971Doering Esther WHarness
US3612605 *Oct 17, 1969Oct 12, 1971Posey John T JrRestraining device
US4132230 *Aug 23, 1977Jan 2, 1979Ladd James TRestraining garment
US5397171 *Aug 9, 1993Mar 14, 1995Leach; Dana M.Gait assistance harness apparatus
US5676426 *Jan 11, 1996Oct 14, 1997Vel-Tye, L.L.C.Safety harness for restraining a child
US5816662 *Nov 12, 1996Oct 6, 1998Rumburg; Tina M.Over-the-shoulder safety harness for use with a chair
US6513829 *Apr 3, 2001Feb 4, 2003Z/C Holding CompanyInflatable restraint assembly for vehicles
US6811222 *Jun 9, 2003Nov 2, 2004Cynthia K. SumnerChin and neck brace
US7523956Feb 3, 2003Apr 28, 2009Zumpano Bernard JInflatable restraint assembly for vehicles
US8910636Jul 29, 2010Dec 16, 2014Relaxbirth OySupport harness
US20060192367 *Feb 3, 2003Aug 31, 2006Zumpano Bernard JInflatable restraint assembly for vehicles
WO2004069610A1 *Feb 3, 2003Aug 19, 2004Z C Holding CompanyInflatable restraint assembly for vehicles
WO2011015710A1 *Jul 29, 2010Feb 10, 2011Relaxbirth OySupport harness
U.S. Classification297/484
International ClassificationA61G5/00, A61G5/10, A61F5/37
Cooperative ClassificationA61F5/3792, A61G5/10
European ClassificationA61F5/37F4, A61G5/10
Legal Events
Feb 8, 1983PAPatent available for license or sale