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INDUSTRY BODIES STRUCTURE MEWP SAFETY ALERTS

Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group publishes Safety Alert Protocol

A Safety Alert Protocol has been developed by the Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group (SFPSG) Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) Group.

The SFPSG document explains that:

“The circulation of factually incorrect, misleading or poorly written information contained in a safety alert can and does repeatedly cause unnecessary confusion within the industry. Once issued the author loses control of the document, as it is passed from company to company around the world, often being re-issued or rebranded with a different company letter head and frequently reappearing years after it was first issued.

In some cases, the misinformation can have the opposite effect to that intended by the author. It may negatively affect confidence with a specific machine or manufacturer, which may ultimately compromise safety in the workplace. It is vitally important to prevent such situations in order to maintain the highest levels of safety and eliminate the unnecessary time and resource wasted trying to address outdated or unfounded concerns.”

This MEWP safety alert protocol has been developed by the Strategic Forum MEWP Safety Group to help prevent such situations.”

The Safety Alert Protocol describes a voluntary standard for Safety Alerts issued by contractors and others who experience incidents which they believe may be related to the design, manufacture, maintenance or use of MEWPs.

The Protocol is intended to guide the author of a Safety Alert to ensure that the alert is seen as authoritative and helpful to the recipients. A standard format is included for the layout and content of Safety Alerts.

Hirers, contractors and specialists work together

Chris Wraith, Technical and Safety Executive at IPAF, said:

“Safety Alerts are always issued with good intentions, but sometimes omit key information, which can lead to speculation and over-reaction when they are received. We hope that this Safety Alert Protocol will help the MEWPs industry improve safety whilst maintaining productivity.”

Kevin Minton, Director of CPA and Chairman of the SFPSG MEWPs Group, said:

“This is a great example of hirers, contractors and safety specialists working together to improve communications in the MEWPs sector.”

The Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group MEWPs Group has membership from CPA, IPAF, HSE, CITB, BCSA, FASET, SAFed and NPORS, as well as significant representation from major construction companies.

The Forum meets twice each year to share information on MEWPs safety, and has set up working groups to produce guidance and address specific issues.

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