ISEA proposes new aerial lift harness

17 March 2008

Joseph Feldstein discusses a prototype harness and belt with an adjustable non-energy absorbing lany

Joseph Feldstein discusses a prototype harness and belt with an adjustable non-energy absorbing lanyard system designed to keep workers inside the platform in the event of an accident and prevents a w

US harness manufacturers have proposed a new restraint system designed specifically to prevent operators from being catapulted from boom-type aerial platforms. The system comprises an adjustable, non-energy absorbing lanyard shortened to about 3.5 feet and anchored at the base of the platform.

The prototype harness was developed by the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) – the harness manufacturers' industry body – and shown by Joseph Feldstein of harness producer MSA during the Saf-T conference held at the Scaffold Industry Association's (SIA) annual convention in Long Beach in July.

The positioning of the anchor points at the base of the platform is an important aspect of the design. Jeff Stachowiak, national safety director of Sunbelt Rentals and chairman of the SIA's Aerial Platform Council, said the lower anchorage points would not only accommodate the new restraint system “but would help solve another problem, and that is occupants climbing on and stepping onto the guardrails to gain additional height (prohibited by both OSHA and ANSI), since they would be essentially tethered to the floor of the platform.”

The difficulty with having anchor points higher up on the platform is that the lanyard has to be set at such a short length that it limits free movement around the basket.

Feldstein said it was important to get manufacturers working together on the positioning of anchor points; “You have a whole host of platform designs, many of which hold more than one person, so developing compatible anchors for these various profiles is a challenge.”

Dan Moss, assistant director of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), said that the issue would be discussed at an AEM meeting in Las Vegas, tentatively scheduled for November 5. Many of the major US aerial lift manufacturers are AEM members.

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