Top MEWP hazards and what to do about them
While MEWPs offer a safe option for work above ground level, they are not without risks. Here are some of the main MEWP hazards to look out for.
Without proper precautions, MEWPs can collide with other vehicles, buildings or overhead obstructions, as well as workers and pedestrians. Lower the risk by setting up exclusion areas, ensuring good visibility and using appropriate signage.
If MEWPs jerk unexpectedly or collide with obstructions, operators can end up trapped between the MEWP and another structure, sometimes on the controls stopping them from operating or stopping the MEWP. Lower the risk by ensuring the ground is level, avoiding overhead obstructions and using additional safety measures such as secondary guarding if applicable.
If unstable, MEWPs can topple over. Lower the risk by using the most suitable MEWP for the job, paying attention to weight limits and never overloading the platform. Always use as intended, never attach banners or use the MEWP as a crane. Always cease operations in high winds.
In the same way that unexpected movement can entrap operators, it can also cause them to fall. Lower the risk by using the correct safety equipment such as fall arrest and restraint systems and ensuring all workers have the proper training and are competent and able to work safely.
If tools or equipment fall they can damage property or worse injure someone. Lower the risk by working tidily and keeping all tools safe and out the way so you can’t knock them off accidentally.
If you would like advice on working at height with MEWPs, our experts are on hand to help you. We have an extensive hire fleet, available for operated or self-drive hire, and are an IPAF approved training centre. We offer a full range of training courses from MEWP Operator to IPAF MEWPS for Managers and IPAF Demonstrator courses – view our full range here.