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Harvard Forest Elevated Work Platform Policy

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This policy is intended to ensure the safety of personnel who access elevated work platforms. Download a PDF copy of this policy.  This policy is applicable to the following elevated work platforms:


Elevated Work Platform



Fall Protection

Little Prospect Hill Tower


100 ft.

Class 3 Body Harness w/ Cable Grab

Barn Tower


120 ft.

Class 3 Body Harness w/ Cable Grab

EMS Tower #1


100 ft.

Class 3 Body Harness w/ Cable Grab

Hemlock Tower


70 ft.

Not Applicable

Hardwood Tower


92 ft.

Not Applicable


General Safety Guideline

  • Always use common sense when climbing and working on the tower.
  • Do not climb during inclement weather (strong winds, snow/ice, rain and lightning)
  • Do not erect, dismantle, or alter tower structure
  • Wear appropriate PPE when climbing.  See Personal Protective Equipment section for specific equipment needed at each tower.
  • Wear hard hat when personnel are working above you.
  • Keep debris or unnecessary materials off the platform
  • Report damaged components to facilities management
  • Follow safe working load recommendations.
  1. Hemlock Walk Up Tower: Maximum of 350 LBS on any part of tower
  2. Hardwood Walk Up Tower: Maximum of 2,500 lbs on any part of tower


Climb-Up: Personnel who access these areas must first complete advanced fall protection safety training.  At a minimum the training must include the basics of fall protection, equipment use and maintenance and a practical (hands on) demonstration on how to ascend and descend the elevated work platform safely.  A qualified instructor is required to provide this training. This training must be documented.

Walk-Up:  Personnel who access these areas must first complete a basic fall protection safety introduction that outlines the safe conduct while traveling on the elevated work platform.  This training does is not required to be documented.

Authorized Users

Harvard Forest will maintain a list of authorized personnel who are qualified to access the climb-up elevated work platforms.  Please contact Mark VanScoy to confirm that you have permission to use the towers.

Advance Notice & Communication

Prior to accessing climb-up elevated work platforms, personnel must first notify the Harvard Forest staff. In addition, they are also required to have with them at all times a means to communicate with the ground person and the facility management group (radio, phone) in the event of an emergency.  When accessing climb up elevated work platforms a second safety person must be present on the ground.

Personal Protective Equipment

The minimum required personal protective equipment for climb-up elevated work platforms includes:

  • Hard Hats or Climbing Helmet
  • Class-3 Body Harness w/ Cable Grab
  • Shock absorbing lanyard
  • Adequate positioning lanyard
  • Safety Glasses 
  • Sturdy shoes / boots

The minimum required personal protective equipment for walk-up elevated work platforms includes:

  • Close toed foot wear with nonslip soles
  • If personnel will be working outside of the guardrails, refer to the PPE requirements for “climb-up” elevated work platforms. 


Prior to climbing all climbing facilities shall be visually inspected at the tower base for rust, corrosion, deterioration, or other hazards on the climbing facilities that could lead to death or injury of an employee in the performance of their duties. Additionally, the climbing facilities shall be visually inspected for these items as the climber ascends to the elevation point where work is being performed. If any such hazard is identified during this inspection, employees shall not use the climbing facility until such hazards are abated

Annual inspections will be conducted to ensure that each structure and its safety components are in good working condition.  Inspections should be conducted by a competent party.  Records of the inspections will be maintained by the Harvard Forest and unsafe findings will be corrected before personnel are allowed to access the space.


Mark VanScoy 978-756-6171; mvanscoy@fas.harvard.ed

Edythe Ellin 978-724-3302;