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Piranha Lox Limits Human Error and Saves Lives in Aerial Lifts

Human error is the single largest contributor to injuries in the workplace. When using an aerial lift such as a cherry picker, boom lift or scissor lift, human error can cost lives. One of the most common human errors is failing to tie-off to an anchor point.

Piranha Lox is a fall arrest system that doesn’t allow a powered platform to operate unless the worker is safely connected. It’s a true interlock system hard wired directly to the equipment. If the operator isn’t safely attached to the anchor point the circuit is broken and the lift won’t operate.

Piranha Lox converts the tie-off process in an aerial lift from a choice to an essential process.

Connecting to an anchor point in an aerial lift is a requirement in a variety of standards including ANSI A92, CSA B354 standards, as well as the OSHA and OHS requirements. However, current technology allows the aerial lift operator to choose to tie-off a lanyard to an anchor point. An aerial lift operator can consciously or unconsciously choose whether to tie-in to an anchor point.

This choice can have dire consequences.

Falls from height are still the number one cause of workplace injuries and fatalities. In 2017, there were 83 known fatal accidents using MEWPs (Mobile Elevated Work Platforms) according to the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF). Fatal accidents are just the tip of the safety iceberg. Many events, activities and behaviors can contribute to or be related to a fatality. Safe or unsafe behavior occurs with such frequency there’s no way to report all of it. Incidents and Accidents are usually recorded but unsafe behaviors are not. A fall is of such enormous consequence it may or may not be precipitated by unsafe behavior, but unsafe behavior can lead to accidents and fatalities, however.

Aerial lift operators may choose to not tie-in to an anchor point despite regulations, training, management and peer pressure. There are lots of reasons why this may occur.

There are factors we are all susceptible to such as complacency, fatigue, boredom, repetitiveness and arrogance. There are specific factors such as work relationships, work satisfaction, training and support.

Only trained and authorized persons are allowed to operate an aerial lift. Training provides the knowledge and skill to operate the equipment in a competent manner. Wearing a harness and hooking the lanyard into an anchor point is part of the training to operator the machinery.

Hooking into an anchor point is a simple, highly repetitive behavior. And there in lies the problem. Anything easy to do is also easy not to do. An operator can choose not to tie off to an anchor point before operating the equipment for any number of reasons. The common thinking about falling is “it won’t happen to me.”  It’s also easy to forget to hook in because the behavior is so common.  An operator may even make a mistake hooking in and it doesn’t actually happen. Regardless of the reason, repetitive behaviors can be easily missed.

Reports show it happens. The 83 fatalities in 2017 were likely precipitated by tens of thousands of unsafe behaviors.

Piranha Lox takes away the choice of whether or not to tie off on an anchor point. The operator simply can’t use the lift if the Lox anchor and connector aren’t in place. It’s a lockout / tagout system preventing the operation of the aerial lift without a safe and secure tie-in to the anchor point.

With approximately 1.5 million aerial lifts available for rent throughout the world, Piranha Lox can prevent a lot of near misses, accidents and fatalities.

In 2015, the Piranha Lox Intelligent Fall Arrest System was installed at The Boeing Company. Since that time, Piranha Lox has been used to safely paint over 4000 airplanes. In partnership with The Boeing Company, the Piranha Lox was the Recipient of the 2017 National Safety Green Cross Award for Innovation.