The SAG-AFTRA Stunt & Safety Department and SAG-AFTRA National Stunt Committee have become aware of inferior ‘knock off’ stunt/flying harnesses infiltrating the stunt performing community here and abroad. One harness failure incident has already been reported. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
This SAG-AFTRA Safety Bulletin is an urgent advisory to alert you to these dangers and to remind everyone to be very diligent about the harnesses and other safety equipment used in the performance of stunts.
Please share this bulletin 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, 660 and 1700 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.
- Have only 20 pick points compared to other reputable harnesses that have 50 pick points.
- Have no identifying company labels on them.
- Are labeled “made in Korea” or “made in China.”
- Are available for purchase primarily online on and are significantly cheaper than real tested and rated stunt or flying harnesses. Are often available in non-mainstream supply stores. The specific harness that failed in the incident we are aware of was obtained at a store in Australia.
- May be fraudulently sold as “AMSPEC” harnesses when they are not.
The SAG-AFTRA Stunt & Safety Department and National Stunt Committee recommend the following:
1) Only purchase stunt or flying harnesses directly from known reputable suppliers that have open communication with their customers, experience serving the stunt community, long, successful and safe histories with harnesses, and that guaranty and warranty their products.
2) Never buy a used harness—especially from an online source or supplier.
3) Never buy a new harness online from any non-specialized site (for example, eBay or Amazon, etc.). Only purchase online from a known reputable supplier.
4) 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 certified for use. If certification is not possible, retire or preferably destroy the harness.
If you think you have an ‘imitation’ harness, DO NOT USE IT and contact the stunt coordinator, 1st AD and SAG-AFTRA Stunt & Safety Department immediately with as much information as possible so we can identify the source of the harness: email firstname.lastname@example.org, call the non-emergency line at (323) 765-2911 or if this is an on-set emergency, (844) SAFER SET; (844) 723-3773.
5) Refer to the document which outlines general safety when doing stunt work.
6) Other general fall protection information and safety for the entertainment industry can be viewed at:
- Fall protection for the entertainment industry under the OSH Act of 1970.
- OSHA Renews Alliance with Performing Arts Organizations to Protect Safety and Health of Workers in Entertainment Industry
7) All stunt performers, coordinators, FX and production personnel responsible for the purchasing and maintaining of harnesses must ensure that their harnesses are regularly inspected as per the manufacturer’s specifications and an inspection log should be kept. Please consult the harness manufacturer’s guidelines for specific details.
As a courtesy from our safety counter parts in Canada, CLICK HERE to view Actsafe’s video on inspecting stunt harnesses. This video is for reference only; please check with the manufacturer for their specifications.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this topic, please do not hesitate to contact the SAG-AFTRA Stunt & Safety Department: email@example.com or (323) 765-2911.
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