The importance of a harness

According to an AAP report on 10 March 2009, a harness saved one worker when a gantry collapsed.  Several videos of the incident’s aftermath are available.

The media report said

“An elderly man plunged 40m headfirst to his death while his traumatised workmate was left dangling from a safety harness after a work platform suspended from the rear of a Sydney building collapsed.

The two subcontractors involved in the plunge had been hired to do maintenance work at the Maroubra Seals Sports and Community Club and were standing on a gantry at the Marine Parade building when one side gave way just before 2pm (AEDT) today.

Nearby construction workers heard a crash and rushed to help, but were too late to save the 70-year-old local man who fell to the ground. He was reportedly not wearing a harness.”

In one of the videos, one of the rescuers says that there is only around 20 minutes available for a dangling man in a harness before circulation stops.   Can anyone confirm this timeframe?

Categories death, height, OHS, PPE, safety, Uncategorized, video, workplaceTags , , ,

2 thoughts on “The importance of a harness”

  1. Hi Kevin,

    Here\’s a quote from

    \”If your legs are perfectly still, then you can start feeling the first signs of shock in as little as three minutes. The average is between five and twenty minutes. You will faint a few minutes after that, and if you are not allowed to lie down straight away then your brain can start to die a few minutes later. \”

    Suspension trauma is gaining recognition in the OHS and fall protection field, but there is still a lack of scientific information on the hazard. One useful document can be found here:


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