Is it necessary to wear a safety harness when operating a MEWP?

Although MEWPs offer a secure platform for working at height, accidents can occur. A small collision with a building, a bump in the road, or a slight knock from another vehicle can cause the platform to jerk or swing unexpectedly, leading to operator falls. The consequences of these accidents can be life-changing or even fatal. However, wearing the correct safety harness can significantly reduce the risk of injury or death.

Whether or not it is necessary to wear a safety harness when using a MEWP depends on the results of a job-specific risk assessment. IPAF's Technical Guidance for fall protection in MEWPs can provide assistance in this regard. The guidance states that harnesses with lanyards short enough to keep the operator within the platform are strongly recommended for boom lifts (Categories 1b and 3b), while harnesses are typically not necessary for vertical lifts (Categories 1a and 3a) but may be required in certain situations.

The harness course consists of three sections

Once qualified, you can:

Harness Awareness Course (HA)

  • Select harnesses and lanyards for use in MEWPs.
  • Manage and supervise use of harnesses and lanyards for use in MEWPs.
  • Create safe systems of work for harness and lanyard use in MEWPs.

Harness User Course (HU)

All of the above plus:

  • Use harnesses and lanyards in MEWPs.
  • Conduct per-use checks of harnesses and lanyards for use in MEWPs.

Harness Inspection Course (HI)

All of the above plus:

  • Conduct statutory inspections of harnesses and lanyards for use in MEWPs.

All harnesses qualifications are valid for five years.

The harness User (HU) Course can be taken as part of the IPAF MEWP Operator Course, as long as candidates have previously passed the Harness Awareness (HA) Course.

Contact us on 01782 208723 or admin@forcegrouptraining.co.uk

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