SAFETY NOTICE – MOBILE ELEVATED WORKING PLATFORMS

The use of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP’s) are currently under investigation by the HSE following  a number of fatal and serious accidents where operators have become trapped between the guardrails or other equipment on the platform and adjacent obstructions.

 The selection and application of MEWPS need to be carefully managed and implemented by competent people. New guidance deals specifically with preventing entrapment and has been prepared by contributors with extensive experience of MEWP use and accident investigation and captures that experience to share with others who might not appreciate the dangers.

 Anyone engaged in the supply or use of MEWPS should familiarise themselves with the guidance and act on its recommendations. The guidance is relevant to anyone using MEWPs, not just those in the construction industry.

Key areas for attention are as follows:

  • Effective work planning
  • Selection of equipment for the specific tasks and environment
  • Training of managers and operators including on the specific machine to be used
  • Preparation and practice of detailed procedures to be followed if someone is trapped and needs to be rescued quickly to minimise harm.

 HSE inspectors will consider enforcement action where they believe there is a risk of entrapment which is not being managed effectively.

MEWP’s – avoiding trapping & crushing to people in the platform

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