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SAFETY BULLETIN: STUNT HARNESS HAZARD ALERT!

It has come to the attention of UBCP/ACTRA’s Stunt Committee that there are some ‘knock off’ stunt/ flying harnesses infiltrating the stunt performing community here and abroad.    A harness failure has occurred and the committee would like to prevent future incidents.  Although no one was hurt, this incident is a very strong reminder for everyone to be diligent about the harnesses and equipment used in the performance of stunts.    This bulletin should be shared with anyone who owns a harness or who works in the stunt or performing arts communities.

The ‘imitation’ harnesses:

  • look very similar to the stunt harnesses that the stunt community has long used but they are NOT built by industry professionals that know how to design and build harnesses. This is evident after the imitation harness was load tested and 4 pick points failed at 566, 566, 1700 & 660 lbs.

(For comparison, other reputable harness suppliers advertise a minimum ultimate breaking strength of 4,000 lbs.)

  • are built with sub-standard materials and are NOT rated for the loads and demands of stunt work.
  • only have 20 pick points compared to other reputable harnesses that have 50 pick points.
  • DO NOT have company identifying labels on them.
  • are labeled made in Korea or China.
  • are available for purchase online on EBay and are significantly cheaper than ‘real’ stunt or flying harnesses. They may also be available in some stores.  The specific harness that failed here was obtained in a store in Australia.
  • may be being sold as “AMSPEC” harnesses (which they are not – AMSPEC is a reputable supplier)

The UBCP/ACTRA Stunt Committee recommends the following:

Both of these companies are in the USA and our stunt community has a long successful and safe history with using all kinds of harnesses from both of these manufacturers.

  • Never buy a used harness online.
  • Never buy a new harness online from any site such as EBay or Amazon.
  • All Stunt Coordinators, Stunt Riggers and Stunt Performers should inspect all harnesses to ensure proper labeling is on all harnesses. If in doubt, do not use the harness until it can be inspected and re-certified for use.  If re-certification is not possible, retire or destroy the harness.
  • If you think you have an ‘imitation’ harness, DO NOT USE IT and contact the stunt committee immediately so we can identify the source of the harness – committee@ubcp.com .
  • Refer to 2-6 Fall protection during stunt work which outlines:
  • a standard for personal fall protection equipment in stunt work that is an alternative to CSA or ANSI standards specified in section 11.5
  • criteria for inspection of a personal fall protection system and removal of equipment from service under section 11.10(2) & (3)
  • All stunt performers must ensure that they have a log book with each harness that is kept up to date.
  • All stunt performers must ensure that their harnesses are regularly inspected as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • To view the ACTSAFE’s video on inspecting stunt harnesses: CLICK HERE
  • Stunt harness log books are available for free at ACTSAFE and at the UBCP/ACTRA office.

Contact Lori Stewart for assistance:   lori.stewart@ubcp.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact:

Back and front view of imitation harness that failed:

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