UK contractor mandates Harness On device

A major UK contractor, Willmott Dixon, has announced that all boom lifts used on its site must be equipped with Nationwide Platforms’ ‘Harness On, lanyard anchor device.

The system utilises a Harness On link between the platform anchor point and the lanyard which senses when a lanyard is attached - or not. It is wired into the platform’s controls so that anyone planning to operate the platform must first attach their lanyard to the device, which then enables the machine to be operated. An indicator light allows operators to see when the device is working or, if the light fails to illuminate, a fault. See: Nationwide starts installing harness device.

The company statement says: “Willmott Dixon has teamed up with Nationwide Platforms, who have developed a system called Harness On. This system works by requiring anyone operating a ‘3b’ boom lift to wear a full body harness with a lanyard that connects to a specific intelligent anchor point within the platform’s basket.”
The Harness On installation

“Harness On is now mandatory, meaning that only 3b boom type lifts with the new system installed can operate on a Willmott Dixon project. This is to reduce to zero the chance that an operator using a platform could fall to the ground because they have not connected their harness correctly. Importantly, this device doesn’t affect any ground or emergency lowering controls.”
It can be fitted to most boom lift platforms

The company cites the latest IPAF Global Safety Report statistics for helping arrive at its decision. Chief health, safety & environment officer Mark French added: “The annual IPAF Global Safety Report continues to show the significant numbers of incidents involving people working at height using mobile platforms, mostly caused by falls. We strive to take a zero-tolerance approach to the risk of this happening and were delighted to work with Nationwide Platforms in getting its new Harness On system in use across all our projects.”

“I think we are the first Tier One contractor to mandate this system across our business and supply chain. Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our supply chain team on our construction sites is paramount and this is an excellent new way for those who use mobile work platforms to carry out their work.”

Family owned Willmott Dixon is celebrated its 175th anniversary last year with revenues of just over £1 billion. The chief executive is a Willmott - Rick Willmott.

Vertikal Comment

This decision will, of course, require more platforms to be retrofitted with the device. Willmott Dixon is a key Nationwide Platforms client which makes it easier, but one wonders what happens when an extra machine is urgently needed and no units with the device installed are readily available?
One also wonders if the company will, in some circumstances, accept alternative systems, such as Haulotte’s ‘Fastn’ device with also detects a stricken operator who remains in the platform and according to Haulotte can be installed on any platform that has a foot pedal in around 10 minutes, and doesn't need to be wired into the control box.

It is always tough and brave to be the first to take a step such as this , it will be interesting to see how the roll out goes on site.


Absolutely agree with last comment
NW are so poor nowadays only by inventing problems can they get more work but it’s always short lived with them as other companies get it they will leave NW just like all the owners of companies they bought in past they all started up again as other companies and NW lost its market share again!!

Nov 17, 2023

Frazer Drive
TRay is is right. This feels like poorly thought out 'solution' to a problem that may not even exist. This needs investigating further before other main contractors get sucked in.

Nov 17, 2023

I have seen this in action on site and for me already seen the obvious issues that are clearly not being checked by the main contractors!

Lanyard lengths. Whilst this has been designed for a shorter lanyard the users are using their normal lanyards therefore compromising the operator if thrown from the basket. So how is supervised on site? Trust me the site manager won’t be walking around with his measuring stick to check.

Why has the green beacon not been used as with Dumpers etc? Probably because one of the main hire companies has convinced a main contractor that their system is the only option.

Safe systems of working are critical, but where are the manufactures with this and how it affects use of the machine. Can we assume they have fully endorsed this as working safely with their products?

Nov 16, 2023

They abound
Eric_L, I have just checked what homologated means, and it looks similar to type approval or certification. (Are you outside the UK, by any chance?) Who homologated this device then? Who would need to? Just the manufacturer, or an external body? I wouldn't trust your yes of course it supports a fall statement, I'm sorry to say.

Nov 16, 2023

@They abound, yes of course it supports a fall. It is homologated

More interesting is to lock in with one supplier, when several solutions are now on the market..

Nov 16, 2023

They abound
Most operators I have seen have the device cheated one way or another, but still use a harness. A bit pointless, really. And no-one has answered if it will support a fall.

Nov 16, 2023

Frazer Drive
“The annual IPAF Global Safety Report continues to show the significant numbers of incidents involving people working at height using mobile platforms, mostly caused by falls." Really?? Is falling from platforms a problem in the UK? Just asking as the cost to add these additional devises is going to be significant for hire companies. I have not seen an operator in a boom lift without a harness for many years.

Nov 15, 2023