The U.K.-based Strategic Forum for Construction Plant Safety Group, which includes the International Power Access Federation, has released a Best Practice Guidance for mobile elevating work platforms with the aim of avoiding trapping or crushing incidents when the machines are used in confined overhead spaces.
In the past few years a number of fatal and critical accidents included instances where the operator or other person being crushed against fixtures or other obstacles while working at height. The new guidance has been prepared by industry participants to provide clarity about the safe use of MEWPs including planning, equipment selection, training, provision of information, familiarization, safe use, supervision and rescue procedures, along with monitoring and management of the work.
“The document offers straightforward guidance for both managers and operators of MEWPs,” said Tim Whiteman, IPAF managing director. “Anyone involved in using MEWPs will benefit from reading this document, which will in the longer run help prevent these rare but dangerous accidents that could happen when MEWPs are used in confined overhead spaces.”
The Strategic Forum comprises representatives from the British Constructional Steelwork Association; the Civil Engineering Contractors Association; Construction Skills; the Construction Plant Hire Association; Fall Arrest Safety Equipment Training; the Health and Safety Executive; IPAF; the National Construction College, and the UK Contractors Group.
The guidance is divided into two parts: one for managers, planners and instructors, covering hazards, risk assessment, controls and responsibilities; and the other for those using and supervising MEWPs and those responsible for rescuing anyone trapped on a MEWP.
The document contains references to UK legislation.
Translations will soon be available in Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish. A copy of the guidance is available at the Publications section of www.ipaf.org.