How to work safely with MEWPs
Quick tips to keep you right at height
While MEWPs are a safe way of working at height, without proper health and safety measures, they can quickly become the source of accidents, injuries and even death. Don’t let that happen to you or your workers – follow our quick tips on how to work safely with MEWPs.
The appropriate MEWP for the job
Picking the right MEWP for your job is half the battle. It’s a decision that needs to follow a pre-work assessment and be made by a competent, trained person that fully understands the risks. Some of the things to think about include:
- Ground and environmental conditions
- Height and access requirements
- The number of workers you need
- The amount 0f equipment required
Moving around safely
On average, seven workers die and 93 are seriously injured every year as a result of accidents with vehicles and mobile plant – it’s a stat worth thinking about.
To move around safely, ensure you have:
- Separate walkways for pedestrians.
- Dedicated vehicle routes.
- Barriers and signage.
- Clearly marked crossing places.
- Visible entrances and exits.
- No blind spots – pedestrians and drivers should always be able to see what’s coming.
Operating your MEWP
Incorrect use of MEWPs risks overturning, entrapment and falls from height.
- The correct training for the MEWP you are using. It is easy to check certifications with the IPAF verify PAL card tool.
- Carry out familiarisation training for all operators on the specific MEWP make and model before starting work.
- Conduct visual checks of all equipment before use and formal inspections regularly as per manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure all workers know to report any defects or issues found and take faulty MEWPs out of service immediately.
- Make sure the MEWP is set up in a safe area on stable ground away from hazards such as overhead power lines.
- Set up exclusion zones to prevent people from walking close to operating MEWPs.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions and stick to operating limits, such as maximum height, weight limits and wind speed restrictions.
- Use appropriate PPE including harnesses and make sure everyone knows how to do so correctly.
- Ensure a qualified person inspects all safety equipment regularly.
- Keep the platform tidy and free of trip hazards to minimise the chance of tripping and falling or accidentally hitting controls.
While not an exhaustive list, this guide should give you an idea of how to operate a MEWP safely. If you have any questions or would like help or advice, we specialise in finding the safest way to complete your work at height – Contact us.