Mobile elevating work platforms, or MEWPs, make many tasks possible by providing temporary access at height. But like any other type of equipment, they pose potential risks when operators aren’t properly trained in their safe use or fail to operate the equipment safely.
The video below covers four major hazards and strategies for mitigating them. It’s a worthwhile refresher for every MEWP operator or supervisor of a MEWP operator, and it includes tips for reducing the risk of:
This happens when an operator is trapped between the platform and another object, such as overhead steel beam or building outcropping, or between an overhead object and the platform controls. Operators and supervisors need to understand how to reduce the risks of operator entrapment, how to identify and plan to avoid overhead obstructions, and the importance of having effective rescue procedures for entrapment scenarios in place. Tips include keeping a safe distance from obstacles and renting a MEWP equipped with accessories that may reduce the risk of entrapment and crush injuries.
Tipovers are possible when operating a MEWP, so it’s critical that the operator take steps to prevent one. For example, make sure the MEWP is rated for any slope it approaches, stay under the load capacity limit, and don’t place oversize loads in or on the platform. Use the MEWP only on firm, level ground.
Strategies for avoiding electrical injuries include maintaining awareness of the MEWP’s proximity to any overhead power lines and warning people on the ground to stay away from the MEWP if it should make contact with a power line.
Fall protection training is required for MEWP operators. Workers should follow appropriate fall protection measures such as closing access gates, wearing appropriate fall protection equipment and standing firmly on the platform floor.