Three up and not a harness in sight

Spotted at the AFAC Conference in Melbourne this week, three men in the basket of a fire service aerial work platform – and not a harness or lanyard between them.
Three men in the platform but not a harness between them

The incident is best summed up in the words of our correspondent:
“Emergency management conference and TV cameramen and other person in the work platform without harness systems. Needs a WorkSafe Victoria intervention. They may be inside (indoors), and only elevated to the roof, but there are safe use requirements by WorkSafe Victoria. The emergency services and TV media is NOT immune to prosecution. Apparently, harnesses were available, but NOT used.”
A closer look

It is surprising that with all the effort to be seen to be wearing a harness and lanyard they were not employed. It is rare to see something like this at an Australian, European or North American construction/work at height related equipment show, so all the more surprising to see this here.

It is true that the risks of a catapult effect here are relatively low, but things have gone wrong at shows before and on at least one occasion in the past year or two the wearing of harnesses and lanyards saved the platform occupants lives. So one for our Death Wish series.

Have a safe weekend.


In June 1999 I was 20’ up in a tree and forgot to tie in my climbing belt. I fell 20 to hard dirt. I’m lucky to be alive, to have a titanium hip replaced in 2010 and have been MEWP-working 18 years. A harness and lanyard is worn for every job in the lift basket. As one of my college instructors often said “let a word to the wise be sufficient”. Thank you Russ Nickel!

Aug 30, 2019
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