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Safety Check : Mobile Elevating Work Platforms

Safety Check : Mobile Elevating Work Platforms

The term Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) covers pedestrian controlled self propelled and power operated mobile elevating work and access platforms.

The MEWP is designed to provide a temporary working platform which can be easily moved from one location to another. It is particularly suitable for short duration work where the use of a ladder would be unsafe and the erection of scaffolding would be time consuming and impracticable.

The main hazards associated with the use of mobile elevating work platforms include:

  • Collision with another vehicle
  • Parts of the machine encroaching onto a traffic lane
  • Proximity of overhead cables
  • Falls of persons or materials
  • Persons being caught or trapped in moving parts or "nip" points
  • Overturning
  • Incorrect use
When using an MEWP it is important that you adopt the following precautions:-
  • Ensure that you have seen the manufacturer's records regarding inspection, maintenance and servicing and that it is carried out.
  • Check that all the relevant test certificates and duty charts are provided with the machine.
  • Ensure that before you operate the machine you are trained; this is normally carried out by the supplier and ensure that you are familiar with the manufacturer's operating manual.
  • Ensure the safe working load (SWL), the safe wind speed and safe gradient are displayed on the machine, and adhered to.
  • Ensure the ground is level, firm and the machine is not over any drain, basement, etc. Where rough terrain equipment is used, the manufacturer's requirements on ground conditions must be followed.
  • Ensure you fully deploy the outriggers / stabilizers.
  • Never travel with the platform occupied or boom extended, unless specified by the manufacturers.
  • Ensure when you are working adjacent to roadways, railways or other operations / obstructions that you erect barriers, cones, lights, etc.
  • Ensure if working adjacent to overhead power lines that you follow the permit to work provided.
  • Ensure that you wear a safety harness and it is attached to the platform. This is required because most incidents involve people being tipped out.
  • Ensure you wear other protective clothing i.e. safety helmets, safety shoes, etc.
  • Check that all moving parts are properly guarded.
  • Only use the platform and boom for the work for which it was intended.
Most Important when not in use, machines should be at ground level and immobilized

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