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Is the use of the harness on boom lifts mandatory? ALVE reports #14

03-06-2019

The boom lift platforms or PEMP (mobile lifting platforms for personnel) are being used more and more in high altitude work due to their unquestionable lower cost and operator safety with respect to other systems. But because they are safe for the operator does not mean that there is no accident in its use, in fact, suffer several types of accidents that is why the use of harnesses on lifts is recommended. The most frequent are:

Rolling of the platform.
Entrapment with structure in scissor platforms or with stabilizers in PEMP that have them.
Entrapment with roofs, structures or doors / gaps.
Fall of the basket by catapult effect.
Falling objects from the elevated basket.
Electrical contact by PEMP contact with live elements.
Abuses.
Fall for entering or leaving the platform in an elevated position.
Damage during checking and charging the batteries.
To avoid them, several prevention and protection measures can be applied.

But for one of them, which is the "accident by catapult effect", one of the measures that should be applied is the use of that uncomfortable EPI that is the harness and that many workers try to avoid. This has led us to ask ourselves a question that, by the way, is very widespread, which is whether it actually helps or is harmful to use a harness to avoid the catapult effect.
To prevent this type of accident, appropriate retention elements must be available so that the worker can not be dismissed from the PEMP platform. Therefore, the worker must have the correct PPE (harness) and the platform must have a secure anchor point. Said anchoring point can not be improvised, for example using the handrail (the most typical) or the anchorage point of the platform to the arm and must be specific and designed to support the efforts to which it would be subjected in the event of the catapult effect. Most new telescopic arm articulated PEMPs are equipped with this anchor point.
Among workers there is a belief that it is worse to be anchored to the platform than not, because they consider that in case of rollover or structural failure they would be dragged by the platform and would not be able to be subject to any element until they were rescued.

But first, in the following video you can see how an operator who does not have a restraint is fired, it is quite difficult that, if there was any object or structure nearby, he could get hold of it.

Then you ask yourself Is it mandatory to use a harness on lifts?

The answer is easy: Yes.

TP 474: Work platforms on forklifts.
Textual quote:
Individual Protection Equipment
In addition to the helmet when there are risks etc.
Seat belt:
For situations in which the work is carried out at a height of more than 2 m, as a complementary measure and whenever it is possible to anchor at a point other than the platform itself, it would be convenient for the operator who works on it to use a belt. safety with harness.

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