Product Usage Policies

Please ensure you are thouroughly conversant with the appropriate document for your products before usage.

Policy can be downloaded here (Right click and select ‘Save’): DOWNLOAD

Our specialised range of vehicle harnesses, are designed to aid both children and adults with challenging behaviour and postural support requirements during transit in both cars and minibuses.

The aim of our vehicle harnesses is to enhance the passenger’s quality of life by allowing them to be safely transported to their destination. This allows the passenger to continue to enjoy day to day activities such as going to school, as well as day trips out to locations a little further afield!

Our harnesses reduce the risk of injury which may be incurred during transit, especially when dealing with volatile individuals and passengers whom have no awareness of danger. The harness benefits not only the passenger, but also the driver / escort and members of the public, whom may be using the road or surrounding footpaths at the time of transport.

Social interaction is vital to many special needs individuals for continual development and is also important to their parents / carers as a means of fun, quality time spent with the individual, but also for the carer to receive support from others. Without access to an aid to safely transport the individual to a set location i.e. school/ the local park / day trip, individuals may be excluded from these activities and many parents /carers would become reliant on others for transport and in some cases home bound – this would be detrimental to the individual and the parent/ carer.

If the use of a harness from our range is suggested for an individual, we would recommend that you perform your own risk assessment. Firstly to determine if a harness is needed and secondly to determine which type in our range would be most beneficial to the individual concerned.

We are happy to give advice over the phone if help is required when selecting a harness.

The harness selection flow chart is available for download from our website and is a helpful tool to use when selecting a harness for a potential client.
NB. Schools should check with their local councils / governing bodies to see if there are any set policies / risk assessments already in place that they need to adhere to in relation to the use of vehicle harnesses.

Permission should be obtained from the legal parent or guardian of children prior to use.

In some instances where the child is under social services, a best interest meeting may be required prior to permission being given.

• The vehicle harness should be selected carefully to meet the needs of the passenger. We can offer a 14 day trial, sale or return policy on any of the vehicle harnesses in our range for customers within the UK.
• Please ensure you meet the UK legal requirements when transporting children using child / booster seats, as disabled children are not exempt from these regulations, unless they have an exemption certificate from their G.P, ROSPA have a helpful guide for which type of seat should be used. 
• Our harnesses are not suitable for use with rear / forward facing child seats with an integral harness. They may  be used with high backed booster seats with height adjustable head rests or booster cushions if required.
• Harnesses for passengers with gastric feeding tubes, urinary / colostomy bags etc should be considered carefully to ensure the harness will not interfere with the attachment site.
• Harness selection for passengers with spinal problems should be carefully considered and then referred to the passengers G.P for approval prior to use.
• We strongly recommend that a harness complete with a groin strap is used for passengers whom submarine down in their seats.
• Where possible it is strongly advisable that passengers have their own individual harnesses. This helps to prevent cross contamination and the spread of infectious diseases. Individual harnesses for passengers will also make it easier for carers as they do not need to alter the lengths of the straps for each journey.
• We recommend that epileptic passengers use a quick release buckle where possible, to allow quick release during a seizure. This is not possible in some cases due to extreme challenging behaviour.
• Ensure the care & maintenance, fitting instructions and buckle information sheets are read through carefully prior to use of the harness. All staff / parents / carers etc whom will be fitting the harness or travelling with the passenger should familiarise themselves with this literature. Companies should ensure that staff members are fully aware that the Crelling harness is not classed as a safety harness, but a postural support harness which aids in the prevention of injury. The vehicle safety belt MUST be worn over the top of our harness
unless they are exempt for medical reasons.

The combination of the existing safety belt & the secondary harness offers added security for the passenger.
• We recommend contacting your vehicle insurance company and informing them that you are using a disabled person’s aid. Some insurance companies will cover the replacement cost of the harness if you are involved in a road traffic accident.
• We strongly recommend that passengers with challenging behaviour are not transported in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, as they may interfere with the handbrake or steering wheel, even whilst wearing a harness.
• All staff/ carers should be shown how to unfasten the steel safety buckles prior to the passenger being placed into the harness.
• The only rear fastening harness in our range is Model 13. In order to fit this harness, easy access is required all the way round the seat back & underneath the base of the seat cushion. Therefore, this harness is usually only suitable for mini buses, coaches & people carriers etc. which allow easy access directly behind the seat.

This harness MUST NOT be fitted to a standard car where the only access to the back of the seat is via the boot.

• Harnesses should be fitted to the vehicle in accordance with the fitting instructions for the specific model purchased. Fitting Instructions & Care & Maintenance documents are supplied with every harness. These documents can also be found on our website. For copies of instructions that are no longer on our website, please contact us.
• Once the harness is fitted, please ensure that any packaging from the harness & especially poly bags & rubber bands, are safely removed from the vehicle. These could potentially become a choking hazard in cases of leaning difficulties & challenging behaviour.
• The harness should be the appropriate size for the individual and be fitted correctly ensuring it is a snug fit, but not too tight as to cause discomfort /injury.
The pinch test on the webbing can be adopted to ensure the harness is not too loose.
• Comfort sleeves provided with the harnesses should be placed on the shoulder and groin straps on all vehicle harnesses to prevent chaffing from the adjuster buckles. Some clients require additional padding; extra comfort sleeves can be purchased individually if required.
• The vehicle safety belt should be positioned over the top of the Crelling harness being used.
• Always ensure that other special needs passengers travelling within the same vehicle are suitably positioned/ restrained. It may be necessary for other special needs passengers to be seated so that they cannot interfere or cause injury to the harness wearer at any time, as this individual would be unable to safely move out of the way.
• Passengers wearing a harness should never be left alone in the vehicle and should be under the constant supervision of a responsible adult.
• Regular checks should be made to ensure the passengers requirements have not changed and the harness being used is still the most suitable harness for the individual. When checking to ensure that client’s requirements have not changed, please also consider checking for weight changes, as this may affect how secure / comfortable the harness is for the passenger.
• The harness should be checked regularly for damage to both components and webbing. If damage or fraying occurs, the harness should not be used and should be replaced immediately.
• Many special needs individuals have lowered immune systems. Good hygiene protocols can help lower the risk to these individuals. We recommend that the harnesses should be checked routinely to ensure they are adequately clean.
Copies of our washing instructions can be obtained from our website or by email.
• If the vehicle is involved in a road traffic accident and the harness was in use at the time of collision, we would recommend immediate replacement.
• We strongly recommend that a safety knife webbing cutter is kept on board the vehicle, where harnesses with steel safety buckles are in use.
This is not a mandatory rule, but is advisable so passengers can be removed quickly from the harness in the event of an accident.

Many road users who do not use special needs harnesses insist on carrying a safety knife webbing cutter onboard their vehicles, so they can cut through the actual vehicle safety belt in an emergency.

If the safety knife webbing cutter is used, it should be replaced with a new one.
Safety knife webbing cutters can be purchased from us if required.
Our policy for the use of safety knives, can be obtained from our website or by email.

• For passengers who perspire excessively (especially during summer months) it is recommended that frequent checks are made to ensure the passenger is not becoming overheated when wearing the harness. Regular checks should be made to ensure that perspiration is not causing unnecessary chaffing from the harness against the passengers skin. If overheating / chaffing occurs, actions must be put in to place to prevent this.

Some clients have used cotton fabric and secured this around the PVC back pad and chest pad of the harness with self adhesive Velcro.
• Care is advised during hot summer months as the metal part of the buckles may become hot if left in direct sunlight, whilst in the vehicle. Please check that buckles are not too hot prior to putting them against the passenger.
• All our products are fully guaranteed for 12 months from the date the goods are supplied. If the product you have purchased develops a material or manufacturing fault within 12 months of purchase, and the fault has not been the result of abuse, misuse or negligence, incorrect fitting or normal wear and tear, please contact us and we will arrange to repair or replace the harness.
• Any alterations made to the harness by a third party will invalidate the 12 month guarantee
and will not be covered under our insurance for any injuries sustained.
• All of our harnesses have been on the market for between 30 – 40 years and over the test of time have proven successful with our clients requirements. We do not make bespoke harnesses. We do however offer simple modifications where necessary, which do not interfere with the general design of the harness. i.e. change of buckles / lengthening of straps/ additional padding etc.
• We reserve the right to review, modify and change our harnesses at any time. Alterations to any harnesses will be at the sole discretion of the company’s directors.
• Although there is not a set maximum consecutive time period for a harness to be in use. We would advise that during long journeys that the client is checked regularly and given a rest period from being in the harness, where possible every couple of hours.
• If there is any doubt as to the suitability or fitting of a harness, discontinue use until further professional guidance has been sought.

Policy can be downloaded here (Right click and select ‘Save’): DOWNLOAD

Wheelchair Harness Usage policy.

The Crelling Harnesses Wheelchair range has been designed to help those who suffer from inadequate postural support to help maintain a position that enables them to use wheelchair and other forms of seating.

At Crelling Harnesses we believe that everybody should have the facility to get out and about as safely and securely as possible and we are endeavouring to assist in this and provide those with special needs and their family and carers a greater degree of freedom.

When choosing and using one of our products we strongly recommend the following considerations be undertaken:

Risk assessment, legislation & permissions:

  • Perform a risk assessment: Determine whether a product in our Wheelchair range or a bespoke design is the best solution and whether any harm could be cause by the use of one.
  • When performing any risk assessment with regard to those with Special Educational needs please also do consider the safety of staff members who may be in close proximity and members of the general public, for instances where challenging behaviour may be experienced.
  • If looking after children or vulnerable adults who are not family members Crelling Harnesses recommend permission be sought from the parent or guardian prior to using our If acting on behalf of other bodies or organisations it may be a requirement to make enquiries of them prior to using our products.
  • Ensure that any specialized risk assessments are conducted in line with the policies, rules and regulations of the governing body or institution you are working on behalf of to avoid bringing an individual or organisation into disrepute.
  • Schools, medical facilities and care establishments must check with local councils or other regulatory bodies to ensure the use of one of our bathing products is not against specific rules and regulations in relation to human rights or other impedances.

Additional medical conditions:

  • Our Wheelchair harnesses are recommended for use where the wearer may suffer from inadequate postural support or where severe challenging behaviour may be exhibited that may pose a direct or indirect risk to their safety and that of others.
  • If prior respiratory issues are present extra care should be taken to ensure that the harness is not fitted too tightly and that the wearer continues to exhibit unhindered breathing, regular checks ought to be made during the duration of the harness’s usage.

Fitting & adjustment:

  • Those fitting our products ought to be familiar with their specification, instructions for usage and our bathing harness usage policies and must ensure that if transferring an individual’s care over to another staff member that they too are familiar with the products operation, limitations and fully understand our usage policy.

We recommend regular checks of the harness and components to ensure that they remain free from damage, and wear, if any discrepancies are discovered the product should not be used and replaced until advice has been sought from the manufacturer, if under warranty Crelling Harnesses will either repair or replace the product at our discretion, if outside of the warranty period the product may need to be replaced.

  • Most of our products utilize a combination of Neoprene, PVC and webbing, these materials can cause overheating and

/or sweating on hot days or after prolonged use and so care should be taken to check the wearer regularly and temporarily removed if there are issues.

  • When not in use and not mounted to a wheelchair or other type of seating our products should be stored flat and not folded to prevent creasing or weakening of the materials and should be stored in a dry place but not left directly in the sun which can deteriorate or discolour some materials (Especially Neoprene)
  • Additionally, our harnesses should be stored out of reach of children, vulnerable adults and Special educational needs individuals so that they are not damaged, or left strewn about causing a tripping or choking hazard.
  • Neoprene pads should they become wet ought not to be dried on a radiator or left out in the sun as this is the quickest way to deteriorate the Neoprene, the pads should be rinsed after use and can be sandwiched in a tea-towel and pressed to remove excess water. They should then be hung in an airy place where any dripping water will not cause any issues.

Usage considerations & guidelines:

  • Our wheelchair products are designed as a postural support for wearers who are under supervision, we do not recommend that those wearing our products are left unattended at any time to ensure their continued safety and
  • It is essential that our products are checked before each and every usage to ensure that they have not been abused, altered or become damaged in any way that may impair their use or present a risk to the wearer.
  • If the harness is in constant use by people of greatly varying sizes and body types it may be good practice to fully extend the straps after each use so that the next user can be quickly seated and made secure without first having to loosen the straps, again this is entirely at the users’ discretion.

Coming Soon!

Policy can be downloaded here (Right click and select ‘Save’): DOWNLOAD

Our walking reins are designed to help guide and control children and adults with challenging behaviour or learning difficulties when out walking with a Carer.

The aim of our walking reins is to enhance the individual’s quality of life by enabling them to safely continue enjoying day to day activities within the community, whilst retaining a degree of social independence. Our walking reins reduce
the risk of injury to the patient and also to members of the public, which may be incurred if the patient has no awareness of danger and is a flight risk.

Social interaction is vital to many special needs individuals for continual development and is also important to their parents/carers as a means of fun, quality time spent with the individual, but also for the carer to receive support from others. Without an aid to safely transport the individual to a set location (i.e. the local park/day trip), individuals may be excluded from these activities and many parents/carers would become reliant on others for transport and in some cases home bound – this would be detrimental to the individual and the parent/carer.

If a decision is made to use a walking rein from our range we would recommend that you perform your own risk assessment to firstly determine if a rein is needed and secondly to determine which type in our range would be most beneficial to the individual concerned.

We are happy to give advice over the phone if help is required when selecting a harness.

When risk assessments are performed, we would recommend considering not only the risks to the SEN individual, but also to both staff and members of the public.

A common-sense approach should be adopted when matching carers with SEN adults requiring walking reins. If necessary, a 2:1 ratio may need to be put into place and a walking rein with handling loops at each side rather than the standard rein may need to be used.

This modification is made to order and so is only available on special request at no extra cost. Please contact us. NB: Schools should check with their local councils/governing bodies to see if there are any set policies/risk assessments/human rights issues already in place that they need to adhere to in relation to the use of walking reins.

Permission should be obtained from the legal parent or guardian of children prior to use.
In some instances where the child is under social services, a best interest meeting may be required prior to permission being given.

• We would recommend the use of the Chest Padded Walking Rein in cases of severe challenging behaviour or where the individual is known for propelling themselves forward.
• It is important for safety reasons that the rein strap is always held behind the child and not pulled from the front. This ensures the strain is on the very strong webbing belts and not on the PVC chest pad.
• Some individuals can undo the handling rein attachment clips of the walking reins and this may lead to them absconding on an outing. (It is important when selecting a walking rein to take this into consideration)
• A security ‘3-Way Release’ buckle is now fitted to the handling rein at either side of the harness. This allows both of the rein attachment straps to be fastened together neatly and securely behind the wearer’s back after the handling rein has been detached.
This does not apply to the Non-Detachable rein strap on the larger sized reins – but the fixed rein does have dual adjustment to shorten the overall length to keep the strap out of the way of the user.

The Breaking Load of each ‘3-Way’ buckle is 60kilo/126lbs/9stone therefore if the occupant is in excess of this weight limit, we recommend that a fixed NON-DETACHABLE handling rein is requested instead.
(It is important when selecting a walking rein to take this into consideration)
Two types of walking reins are available each with the facility for a fixed rein:
a. Waist Belt with rein strap (rear fastening). This consists of two belts, one at waist level and one positioned
slightly higher, PVC Leatherette front sleeve and a central handling rein strap. Designed to offer light to
medium control.
b. Chest Padded harness (rear fastening). This consists of a deeper PVC Leatherette chest pad, shoulder straps, waist belt, chest strap and a central handling rein strap.
Designed to offer a higher degree of control, more support and directional guidance when coping with challenging behaviour and potential escapologists.

• Our walking reins are designed to be used under supervision at all times and should only be used under the supervision of a responsible adult. Children and adults wearing the reins should never be left unattended.
• The walking rein should be the appropriate size for the individual and be fitted correctly ensuring it is a snug fit, but not too tight as to cause discomfort /injury.

The pinch test on the webbing can be adopted to ensure the harness is not too loose.
When fastening the walking rein, care should be taken to ensure that no clothing is caught up in the buckle
mechanism. An audible “click” should be heard when fastening the black Side Squeeze buckles.
• The rein should be checked regularly for damage to both components and webbing.
If damage or fraying occurs the harness should not be used and should be replaced immediately.
• Walking reins should be used for the duration of an outing as required. They should not be used unnecessarily or for long periods of time once the individual is back within a safe environment where the flight risk has been eliminated. i.e. home / school.
• If the individual is in an enclosed area and the carer is not keeping hold of the reins, the handling rein should be either fully detached or securely adjusted to a short enough length so it does not pose a tripping risk to the individual.
• The walking reins are made of polyester webbing and a PVC sleeve/pad.
For usage during hot summer months it is important to ensure the individual does not become overheated wearing the harness as this may become uncomfortable. The carer should check the individual regularly during use.
• We recommend, where possible, that when crossing roads the carer holds onto both the walking rein and the individual’s hand for additional security.

Our walking reins are designed to gently guide individuals when out walking. They should not be used in a rough manner to drag or pull back an individual as this may cause the wearer to fall and injure themselves.

Carers will need to use discretion on this point as there are emergency circumstances where it may need to be overruled, for example: the individual is heading in front of a moving vehicle.

• When the walking reins are not in use, we strongly recommend that they are stored safely out of both children’s and SEN individuals reach. Ideally they should be stored so that the webbing does not cause a tripping/choking hazard.
• When storing walking reins please ensure that the PVC chest pad/sleeve is laid flat and not folded over. This may create creasing of the chest pad material which in turn may cause chaffing to the occupant.
• We would advise people who are suffering from existing wrist/arm injuries not to use the walking reins with SEN individuals, as further injury may be sustained.

It is advisable that clients who use vehicle harnesses in our range opt to carry a safety knife webbing cutter on board the vehicle to aid in the quick release of the harness wearer in the event of a road traffic accident. This is not a mandatory rule, it is just strongly advised by our company, and should especially be considered in cases where harnesses with steel safety buckles are being used.

Companies and individuals are responsible for performing their own risk assessments for the use of the harnesses and safety knifes.

Please check your own company’s policy prior to purchasing and use.

We would recommend that the following information is adopted into these assessments for the use of safety knife webbing cutters.

• Safety knife webbing cutters are encased metal blades that are used to slice through the webbing strap of safety belts and harnesses to aid in the quick removal of the passenger. We would advise that all drivers / assistants / staff and carers are made familiar with this product and its purpose. They should be shown exactly where all the safety knives are situated in the vehicle.
• It is advisable that safety knives are kept in the same location in the vehicle at all times to avoid confusion in an emergency. The location of the safety knife should be out of sight and reach of special needs harness wearers, but within reach of the driver/ passenger assistant. It is at your companies discretion as to the amount of safety knives kept in the vehicle. We however would recommend one within reach of the driver and one within reach of the passenger assistant.
Some clients use stickers in the vehicle window to indicate that safety knives are stored on board and their location.
• Safety knifes sold by Crelling Harnesses are easily identifiable as the blades are encased in bright orange plastic and are pelican shaped in appearance. We have opted for the pelican shaped safety knife webbing cutters as we have found them to be more durable than the smaller more compact versions available. The aperture towards the blade on the pelican version is quite narrow, which reduces the risk of injury to inquisitive fingers.

Safety knife webbing cutters can be sourced from other retailers, although please note they may vary in colour / shape and durability.

• Use of the safety knife webbing cutter will irreparably damage the safety belt or harness and should only be used in cases of genuine emergency: i.e. Road traffic accident / jammed seat belt buckle etc.
• Following use in an emergency, the safety knife and the harness / safety belt it has been used on should always be replaced with new versions.
• It is recommended that a responsible adult should be present on board any vehicle where safety knife webbing cutters are stored whilst the vehicle is in use by special needs individuals.
• Safety knife webbing cutters should be subject to regular maintenance checks to assess for any damage. I.e. broken plastic handles, loose or rusted blades etc. Any damage should be reported to managers and the item should be replaced immediately.

Over the years Crelling Harnesses have developed a specialised range of belts and harnesses catering to children and adults with a wide scope of various special needs.

When selecting a buckle for use with one of our products or when considering the advice of either a staff member, associate, occupational therapist or previous customer, we would strongly recommend that you do your own due diligence and perform a risk assessment to determine the specific components
worthiness.

For customers requiring additional postural support the press release buckles should be suitable, however if the user exhibits challenging behaviour, curious nature and/or a habit of attempting to undo equipment an alternative buckle should be sought.

If for example the user has “inquisitive fingers” or escapist tendencies a quick press release buckle within easy reach is unlikely to keep them securely fastened in their seat.

We have sourced components to reduce this risk including Steel Safety Buckles with a more difficult mechanism to operate which can prevent or at least hinder the speed at which the user can release the buckle which may prove to be far more suitable for potential escapologists.

Please bear in mind that due to the way some of our products are manufactured that it is not always possible to change buckles on existing harnesses, so this is an important point to consider before the goods are purchased.

Schools should check with their local councils or governing bodies to find out if there are any set policies/risk assessments already in place that they need to adhere to in relation to the use of our products, for example: Restrictive Practice. We do have a leaflet available regarding Human Rights and Restraints
should you wish to request a copy.

Where practicable permission should always be obtained from the legal parent or guardian of the user concerned prior to use. In some instances, where a child is under the supervision of social services, a best interest meeting may be required prior to permission being given.

NB: We only have only one completely reverse fastening harness which is the Model 13 chest padded harness which is available in wheelchair or vehicle versions. Please note that this harness will only fit single backed seats with easy access around the back of the seat and for the groin strap to pass underneath the base of the seat. It will not fit in the back of a standard “Hatch-back” car.
We have a selection of different buckles available to choose from which are detailed here for your guidance.

PRIMARY RISK ASSESSMENT CONSIDERATIONS.

At Crelling Harnesses we recognize that in life risks cannot be wholly eliminated, but with a well thought-through plan of assessment and raising of awareness we can work together to minimize risk wherever possible.

All employees have a responsibility for risk-assessment and to that end we have produced this document as a general guideline to risk-assessment when using our products and may be used in conjunction with the guidance contained in Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, particularly Section 7 which requires that employees should take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work.

When considering aspects of a risk-assessment, it is important to consider risks to the person for whom the equipment is intended, those using the equipment or supervising, those nearby and those whom you may encounter upon any journey, all aspects need risk-assessing.

It is always worth having well-thought-out contingency plans as well so that clear action is agreed upon should any specific predictable situation arise.

Please note that Crelling Harnesses are not classed as safety harnesses and are intended for meeting the requirements of special needs passengers only.

It is important that the existing safety belt provided in the vehicle should be worn over the top of the Harness.

Notes: Remember that The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 and Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 impose a duty on employers to consult workers on matters pertaining to their health and safety. So, if your risk-assessment does identify a potential hazard that may potentially cause someone to be at risk your employer is legally bound to take notice and act in a positive manner if the risk is found to be valid.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999 Regulations 3 and 5 impose an overarching duty on employers to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments and introduce preventative and protective measures to control the identified risks. This includes the risk of violence and aggression.

Still have a question?

Please contact us for more information.

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