IPAF issues competition challenge for female friendly harnesses
By Maria Hadlow24 April 2009
An increasing number of women are operating aerial platforms and with that comes a demand for a more female friendly harness. IPAF (the International Powered Access Federation) has called for a radical re-examination of harnesses used by female operators of boom-type MEWPs (mobile elevating work platforms) and announced a competition to find the best new design.
IPAF's managing director Tim Whiteman said, "Research suggests that MEWPs are increasingly used by women, particularly in the non-construction sector, which now accounts for more than 40% of European MEWP rental activity. However, women operators regularly complain that the design of traditional harnesses make them uncomfortable and could cause serious pain and damage to breast tissue in the event of a catapulting incident."
"Harnesses should be designed to be as comfortable as possible for all users - MEWPs are the safest way to perform temporary work at height, but without appropriate harnesses, women expose themselves to unnecessary risk," said Mr Whiteman.
IPAF is inviting harness manufacturers to work with the Federation to address the discomfort issues and to find a way to minimise the potential dangers of damage to female breast tissue caused by the placing of load-bearing straps vertically across the front of the chest area.
IPAF will award an IPAF Design Prize to the best solution which will be featured at its Bauma exhibition press conference in 2010. All entries must be received by 15 March 2010.