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Kingfisher Access

New Guidance - Safety Harnesses in MEWPS

Applicable Courses:

Here at Kingfisher Access we hear many conflicting "stories" surrounding the use of safety harnesses and MEWPs during our IPAF Operator, Demonstrator and Harness training courses. We, together with IPAF (International Powered Access Federation) and the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) strongly recommend the use of harnesses and lanyards in boom type MEWPs.

Kingfisher Access

The first step to avoiding problems is training.  Everyone using harnesses to work at height needs to have the correct training and be competent to do so 

Our IPAF approved safety harness training course will ensure that the users are familiar with the correct selection, inspection, and proper fitting of the equipment. Further details on any of our MEWP products may be found here:

  1. Make sure you use the correct safety harness for the job.
  2. Always carry out a pre-use inspection checking for wear and tear and making sure the harness has all the correct information, such as serial number, manufacturer details and inspection dates.
  3. Never use a harness if there are signs of damage.
  4. Ensure your harness fits properly and that you wear it correctly, as per the manufacturer’s guidance.
  5. When finished with your harness, hang it up where it will safe from damage and protected from the weather.

Boom type platforms

When working from a boom type Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP), it is strongly recommended that a lanyard short enough for the wearer to be restrained within the platform be used. The lanyard may contain an energy absorbing device, provided it is short enough to restrain the wearer within the platform. This includes Static Booms (1b) and Mobile Booms (3b).

Vertical lifts

It is not normally necessary for personnel working from a vertical lift to wear fall protection equipment, other than in exceptional circumstances. This includes Static Verticals (1a), Mobile Verticals (3a), Push Around Verticals (PAV) and Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MCWP).

Working next to or over water

A risk assessment should determine whether it is more appropriate to wear a harness to address the fall risk, or a life jacket to address the risk of drowning. The need for a fall protection system will be the outcome of a job-specific risk assessment undertaken prior to work commencing and taking into consideration the manufacturer’s operator manual.

Ref: H1-TE-019-0717-2-en-GB


H1 Fall Protection in MEWPs (H1-TE-019-0717-2-en-GB) (265.6KB)

  • For UK-specific guidance and information on preventing falls and on the use of harnesses and lanyards in MEWPs
  • EN 354: Personal fall protection equipment. Lanyards
  • EN 355: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Energy absorbers
  • EN 358: Personal protective equipment for work positioning and prevention of falls from a height. Belts for work positioning and restraint and work positioning lanyards
  • EN 360: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Retractable type fall arresters
  • EN 361: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Full body harnesses
  • EN 362: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Connectors
  • EN 363: Personal fall protection equipment. Personal fall protection systems
  • EN 365: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. General requirements for instructions for use, maintenance, periodic examination, repair, marking and packaging
  • BS 8437: +A1:2012 Code of practice for selection, use and maintenance of personal fall protection systems and equipment for use in the workplace
  • BS 8454: Code of practice for the delivery of training and education for work at height and rescue
  • BS 8460: Code of practice - Safe use of MEWPs
  • ISO 18893: Mobile elevating work platforms. Safety principles, inspection, maintenance and operation
  • BS EN 280: Mobile elevating work platforms. Design calculations. Stability criteria. Construction. Safety. Examinations and tests

HSE General Information Sheet GEIS 6 – See also the selection, management and use of mobile elevating work platforms, available from the HSE website