When do I need to wear a Safety Harness?
‘When do I need to wear a safety harness’ has recently become one of the most common questions we receive when training onsite in a Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) or Vertical Lift and although the final discretion comes down to the decision made by site, here is what is suggested!
Boom Type Platforms
When working from a boom type MEWP which includes Static Booms (1b) and Mobile Booms (3b), it is strongly recommended that a full body harness with lanyard is to be worn – the lanyard must be short enough for the operator to be restrained when inside the platform (this could include an energy absorbing device, provided it is short enough to restrain the operator).
It is important to remember that even a small movement at ground level will create a whiplash effect (where the operator can be catapulted from the basket).
It is not normally necessary for operators working from a vertical lift to wear fall protection equipment other than in exceptional circumstances. The final decision on wearing a harness in a vertical lift will ultimately come down to the individual site policy.
It is important to remember that delegates need to see all around them when traveling; for the safety of the delegate and those working on the ground, and it is not recommended to wear a harness in vertical platforms. Observation forms a big part of the practical test and IPAF say the test cannot be carried out due to safety of every concerned, as the operator is unable to see all around them.
If there is not a smaller scissor available and the site does not allow to unclip, state that it is not normally necessary for operators working from a vertical lift to wear fall protection equipment.