Companies operating in the mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP) sector have long understood the dangerous nature of the work they undertake, with falls from height, the potential for personal injury, electrocution, entrapment and machinery overturning, some of the most common causes of fatalities in the sector throughout the world.
Writing for IOSH Magazine, Chris Wraith, Technical and Safety Executive at the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), looked at what’s being done within the industry to make it safer for everyone.
He highlighted the IPAF’s accident reporting project as one way in which the MEWP sector is gathering data and trying to learn from incidents. This particular scheme started in 2012 and keeps a detailed record of known accidents.
The idea is that the IPAF and others in the industry can use this analysis to help inform training programmes, as well as the introduction of other safety measures to help reduce the number of deaths that occur when people are using this equipment.
It is essential that your workforce and any site contractors are completely aware and familiar with the written rescue plans and emergency response plans already in place and understand that an effective immediate response is mobilised should an incident occur.
According to IPAF statistics, there were 66 reported fatalities involving MEWPs around the world last year, two fewer than were reported in 2015.
Earlier this year, the IPAF announced that it is introducing a new, more stringent auditing process for MEWP rental firms in the UK from September. The aim is to improve health and safety, quality and environmental performance.