Safety alert 05/2011 - Use of safety harnesses on elevating work platforms

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

Construction, regional and primary industry inspectors have identified that safety harnesses are sometimes not worn when workers are working from boom type elevating work platforms. Harnesses help prevent people from sustaining serious injuries when working at heights and play an integral role in emergency rescue.

Contributing factors

  • Safety harness not provided. 
  • Where safety harnesses are provided people do not wear the safety harness.

Action required

  • Consultation and planning of the proposed work must occur with all people involved in the work.
  • Hazard identification must be incorporated into a work plan and/or a safe work method statement that covers all potential risks associated with work at heights.
  • Workers operating elevating work platforms must be trained and instructed in the safe operating procedures for the particular brand and type. The training provided should include the safe use of the fall-arrest equipment and emergency rescue. 
  • Workers operating boom type elevating work platforms must wear an attached safety harness and lanyard incorporating a shock absorber as a precaution against mechanical failure of the basket.
  • People operating elevating work platforms where the boom length is 11 metres or more must have appropriate high risk work licences. 

Further information

Further information can be obtained from WorkSafe’s web site  or by contacting customer service on 1300 307 877 or email

This Alert contains safety information following inquiries made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident.  WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.

Last updated 29 Jun 2017

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