A campaign emphasising the importance of planning ahead for safety when conducting temporary work at height using Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) has been launched this week by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) at the Intermat 2018 expo in Paris, France, 23-28 April.
The campaign explains why operators and managers should carry out full risk assessments, choose the correct equipment for the job, conduct site and machinery inspections, use trained and familiarised operators under proper supervision and implement adequate segregation from other plant machinery and traffic.
Tim Whiteman, CEO of IPAF, comments: “Falls from height are still the main cause of deaths in the workplace. MEWPs are specifically designed to safely conduct temporary work at height and have been recognised as such by safety bodies across the globe.
“Working safely at height using MEWPs is underpinned by good planning, trained and properly supervised operators using the correct machine for the job. IPAF’s latest campaign is all about reminding people of the importance of proper planning – safety at height begins before you’ve even left the ground.”
Key accident causes
Andrew Delahunt, IPAF’s Technical & Safety Director, added: “From IPAF’s accident data analysis, we’ve identified four key accident causes that can result in falls from the MEWP platform. These accidents can be prevented by proper planning and safely managing the use of MEWPs. We are highlighting these factors so that managers and operators know the risks and know their responsibilities.”
The key points of guidance in the campaign cover:
- Risky operator behaviour
- exiting the platform at height
- setting up near other machinery or vehicles
- and mechanical failure.
To support IPAF’s new safety campaign a new online spreader pad calculator has been launched, while IPAF also offers Andy Access safety posters that can be used to deliver quick and simple safety talks on sites or in breakrooms and is also developing a series of Toolbox Talks to help get key messages across.