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Harness Protection: Is it Providing False Security? Manufacturers of scissor lifts have developed a protective harness for operators of the machinery. These are designed to prevent injuries if the operator falls from the platform. There are arguments on both sides of this issue, which are for and against the wearing of a harness by scissor lift operator. The main argument for those in favor of the harness is that scissor lift operators are at risk of falling from the platform, therefore why not wear the harness for protection? However, there are also arguments that state that if a scissor lift operator falls over the railing, the force that is exerted on the lift may actually cause the entire piece of equipment to topple over. This then would result in a greater injury. The fact is that wearing a harness is not required by either ANSI/SIA or OSHA regulations. Additionally, OSHA does stipulate that personal fall arrest systems, or harnesses, cannot be attached to the guardrails. Some other arguments of those who are against the wearing of harnesses state that they restrict movement and provide a false sense of security for the scissor lift operator. However, the fact is that this is not a false sense of security, rather a real sense that provides assistance if the operator falls. Types of Harnesses There are two basic types of fall harnesses, the fall arrest harness and the fall restraint harness. The fall arrest systems are designed to stop the fall while it is in progress while the restraint systems help to prevent the fall from occurring in the first place. This is a huge difference. With no fall, there is no force on the equipment to cause a tip-over of the equipment. Where there may be some slight restriction on the operator’s movement capabilities, the fact is they are fully protected from falling off of the platform. There are many arguments that state an operator simply jumping from the platform would result in less damage than falling from the platform and restricted by a harness. However, the average scissor lift operator is not conditioned nor do they possess the physical prowess to do the right thing, jump at the right moment and land safely. Scissor lift operators are regulated by the OSHA, which does not require the operator to wear a harness. For scissor lift operators however, they should also be aware of the law of gravity, which means that if you fall, you will hit the ground, and likely with substantial injuries. While scissor lift training can prevent a large number of these accidents, the unexpected happens, and when it does, the absence of a harness may result in serious injuries.


Since it is not required by law, wearing a harness is ultimately the decision of each individual scissor lift operator. Keep in mind, just one fall could result in serious injuries, and in some cases death. Therefore you must ask yourself if not wearing the harness is worth the risk that it presents. (Source: www.aftt.co.uk).

Harness protection - Is it providing false security?  

Manufacturers of scissor lifts have developed a protective harness for operators of the machinery. These are designed to prevent injuries if...

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