• Wayne Nicholl
    wow I must be getting too old for this lark - but I am suddenly confused of what training is required for the use of a harness. I have been told that when you do EWP training they train you how to wear a harness but not to a unit standard. But when they do training for the operation for a knuckle boom there is no training for wearing a harness!!!! The training provider went on to say that training standards for wearing a harness are set by your company procedures?
    I am now doubting the training provider and my beliefs - thoughts??
  • Jane
    I have just been working through this for my people and I have found that these lists has helped me get a handle on it as it is very confusing.
    Working at Height training https://www.fireandsafetytraining.co.nz/safety-courses/height-training/
    EWP training https://www.fireandsafetytraining.co.nz/ewp-elevated-work-platform-training/

    Unit Standard 17600 is good working at height basic training that can be done remotely.
    I would say 23229 for harness basics, and then the applicable EWP unit standard.

    I would be interested to see what other people say though, I am new to figuring this one out and it all depends on what is on offer in your geographical area.
  • Wayne Nicholl
    Thanks Jane - I guess I would be ok with training that didn't have a US if there was clear evidence of some sort of moderation and evidence to show what level that person has been trained to?
  • Robb
    I went through this about 6 months ago with our training provider. I went to them with this:
    When I read the GPG for MEWP it says the following re harness use:
    A recommended means of achieving competence for harness use is the NZQA Unit Standard 23229 – Use a Safety Harness for Personal Fall Prevention When Working at Height.

    Taking this literally, it means the recommended adequate training standard for all knuckle boom users (as they must wear a harness when using a knuckle boom) is:
    US 23229 – Use a Safety Harness
    US 23966 - Describe Types of Elevating Work Platforms (EWPs) and Legislative Requirements For Their Use
    US 23962 - Assess the Worksite, Prepare and Operate a Self-Propelled Boom Lift Elevating Work Platform (EWP)

    I asked if they train to the US23229 for harness use with their MEWP (knuckle boom) course. This is the response I got from our training provider.

    Common question that one!

    Whilst the GPG states that the recommended means of achieving competence with harness use is US23229, we don’t cover that unit standard on our standard MEWP course. There are already 10 credits (3 x units) achieved on the standard MEWP course.
    We do however, cover the correct selection, use and fitting of a harness as a matter of course.

    Some PCBU’s are taking the line and following the GPG recommendation in that they want to have their users trained in both the particular MEWP units and the 23229 unit while some are happy with just the particular MEWP units.

    I guess it is up to the individual PCBU to decide.

    So, in a round-a-bout way of answering you question – no, we don’t award US 23229 but do cover the selection, use and fitting of a harness for MEWP work.

    It appears this decision is based around a business case, not about providing adequate training. I have gone to numerous other providors, and what was said above is common practice. Its kind of frustrating that training providers offer courses that do not cover all the recommendations of an industry GPG, meaning additional courses are needed.
    We now train all MEWP knuckle boom users in
    US 23229
    US 23966
    US 23962
  • MattD2
    Its kind of frustrating that training providers offer courses that do not cover all the recommendations of an industry GPG, meaning additional courses are needed.Robb

    As you say the training provided is based on a business case - added an additional US would added the additional cost and time required to that course, which seems illogical to do for each of the four (?) specific MEWP US's (basically redoing US23229 each time you do a different MEWP course). Remembering that you can always decide to put your workers through US23229 separately if you don't think the MEWP specific training is satisfactory covering harness use.
    Remembering that no general H&S training is statutorily required under HSWA to be to NZQA US's (except for "H&S Rep L1") - the GPG is just that, guidelines and recommendations.

    I would be suggesting that if all your workers do is use various MEWPs then you should assess the current MEWP training courses from your training provider are adequate (which might require "management level" staff to be trained to understand what is being trained), then train your workers to that training and finally monitor their competency after training. If you see workers return from training that then put harnesses on backwards then it is likely that additional training (possibly to US23229) is required or to go back and review if the original training is actually training what you were shown it would.
  • Wayne Nicholl
    thanks heaps team - helpful comments
  • Wayne Nicholl
    so why is the fitting and wearing of a harness not covered in the knuckle boom training?
  • HSQE
    Hi Wayne,

    I suggest you contact Chris Cox from Blackwoods/NZ Safety who does this type of training. He is awesome at looking at your training needs and offering the corresponding training for those needs. No BS - just excellent advice and training. We did a 2-day Fall Arrest Systems course. The course assesses to NZQA Unit Standard 23229 Use of a Safety Harness and 15757 Establishing, disestablishing and using a Fall Arrest System.
  • Michael Parker
    Harness training is probably considered by those organisations to be a prerequisite for the MEWP training. They don't want to have everyone who has 23229 to sit through that again.
  • MattD2
    Harness training is probably considered by those organisations to be a prerequisite for the MEWP training. They don't want to have everyone who has 23229 to sit through that again.Michael Parker

    But from @Robb's comment it seems like they are providing training on the selection, use and fitting of harness - just not to the extent of US23229 I guess. I would expect that it would be specific to they style of MEWP being trained on though. So where US23229 will be broader in scope to include multiple types of fall arrest systems and identifying different certified anchor points that can be attached to and how, I would expect the MEWP specific training to be much simpler - "for this MEWP, wear this harness/lanyard style and hook onto this point"
  • Adrian Hollamby

    Hi Wayne,
    Training can differ from provider to provider. I was once told that I didn`t need to wear a harness whilst using a scissor lift. My view on this is to ensure that whenever you are working at height or on an MEWP that harnesses and fall arrest systems are used at all times. Simple checks can be to ensure that the anchor points are secure and certified as well as checking the integrity of the harness.
  • Adrian Hollamby
    All good. If i can help in anyway feel free to get in touch.
  • Aaron Marshall
    Just a question from someone whose only experience with working at heights is as an abseiling instructor:
    What is the training content? does it go into the practical use of the harness, and if so, what brand(s) are used, and does it go into the difference?
    The reason I ask is I once had someone who had plenty of experience, and knew how to use a harness get it completely wrong. Turned out the harness he had used was different to the one we were using.
  • Alex P
    Hi Aaron,

    Unit 23229 is the most basic qualification for wearing a harness and using safety systems at height. It is designed for those are who need to wear a harness and use either pre-installed equipment or simple systems such as a lanyard for an EWP or climbing a ladder - I've attached the Unit Standard in the link below.

    Harnesses and equipment vary between training providers and there are many variations that can be used or purchased. I deliver height safety and rescue training for a Private Training Establishment, let me know if I can assist further.

    From my experience, it is not often we get EWP operators partaking in the 23229 course. Simply because it is covered (albeit minimally in the EWP course) and the skill needed to don a harness and clip a lanyard to an approved anchor point is relatively low (although that is subjective) - most employers seem to do this as part of internal training.

  • Jarron Urlic
    Our company policy is that if you operate an MEWP you are therefore about to or are working at height. This means you must have W@H and MEWP unit standards, so this avoids your dilemma and means there are plenty of providers to choose from come renewal time.
  • MattD2
    Which W@H unit standard though? Just 23229, or a W@H training course which generally includes 23229/15757, or even a NZ Level 3 certificate in rope access which includes assessment against various W@H NZQA Unit Standards?
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