Going Beyond Harnesses For Shipping Container Fall Protection

Protective harnesses have been the go-to fall protection system for people working at height for engineers and construction workers. The idea behind a protective harness is brutally straightforward – they arrest the fall of someone who falls from height, thus preventing them hitting the ground.  

In terms of risk mitigation, therefore, harnesses are a reactive measure – they aim to minimise harm once a hazardous event has already taken place. They don’t eliminate the risk of injury, because protective harnesses are linked to several injury hazards in their own right, including the risk of hitting the structure while suspended, and suspension trauma. A more effective risk management strategy is always to proactively identify and avoid risks, rather than simply wait to respond and limit the damage. 

For employees working at height on modest structures, therefore, such as shipping containers, or low roofs and edges, is there a better risk management solution for fall protection

Yes, there is, and we will examine this alternative more closely in this article. 

request a quote for our gantries or shipping container edge protection system

Why Are Harnesses Not Ideal For Shipping Container Safety? 

Protective harnesses are not always suitable for workers working on or around shipping containers, firstly because these containers often have uneven top surfaces, making it challenging to guarantee a secure attachment point that will keep the worker from falling. Secondly, the top of a shipping container is a fairly small area, and it can rapidly become cluttered with equipment and tools when a team is maintaining or augmenting the structure in some way. Harnesses can create an additional trip hazard in this environment. 

Moreover, when working in confined spaces, the harness may compound existing risks by causing the worker to become entangled in equipment or trip over her harness, escalating a simple slip or misstep into a dangerous tumble from the shipping container itself, with a higher risk of personal injury. 

The alternative solution is a collective edge protection system, such as ConCEPs from SHEARFORCE, that serves to address the risk of falling from shipping containers by safeguarding the edges of the structure. 


ConCEPS is a specialised fall protection system consisting of four corner components that fit most standard shipping container sizes, from 10’ to 40’. These components can be installed quickly, minimising downtime and maintenance costs while maximising safety for workers. ConCEPS is relatively lightweight and portable and can be installed by just one person, and its steel construction ensures durability and reliability. 

ConCEPS falls under the category of collective fall protection systems, which are designed to proactively protect a group of workers rather than an individual. This is particularly useful for tasks such as installing air conditioning units or other equipment on top of shipping containers, where multiple workers may need to access a shipping container at the same time. With ConCEPS, everyone is protected by the same system, regardless of their positioning on the container. This reduces the risk of miscommunication and lowers the likelihood of accidents. 

Contact Us To Find Out More 

For more information about ConCEPs or to request a quote, please contact us today. 

make an enquiry for our gantries or shipping container edge protection
Shipping containers that have appropriate fall protection for when workers are on top of the containers.