Are hard hats required on a cherry picker?
Although this is not mandatory, it is recommended to wear a hard hat on a cherry picker.
It’s an unstoppable logic, the higher you work, the more risk you take. Reason demands that you protect yourself from an accident, serious or fatal.
Besides, the Health & Safety Executive provides 2 smart advice’s when it comes to work at height, using a cherry picker or a ladder :
“where work at height cannot be easily avoided, prevent falls using either an existing place of work that is already safe or the right type of equipment”
“minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, by using the right type of equipment where the risk cannot be eliminated”
Obviously the type of work will dictate the necessary hard hat PPE that has to be worn and consideration should be given to whether certain PPE is required or not and does introducing a particular piece of PPE introduce other risks.
There is a balance to be had with regards to wearing PPE that is necessary (as highlighted by the risk assessment) for the work being carried out and just wearing PPE for the sake of it (where the risk is low or minimal). Difficult to answer without further information, but the risk assessment should answer your question as to whether it is needed or not rather than is it a legal requirement.
As operators, you should consider wearing a safety harness, even if a guardrail system is sufficient. The harness won’t prevent a cherry picker fall, but it can limit the risk of an accident, injury, or fatality. Perhaps best of all, a harness can provide you with the peace of mind that you can work safely at heights.