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    INDUSTRY BODIES ISSUE MEWP WARNING

    Powered access users warned on work in confined overhead areas

    The Powered Access Interest Group formed by the CPA with IPAF has called for extra care when planning and using mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) in confined overhead areas. This type of work has increased in recent years and led to a number of accidents.

    Reducing Involuntary Operation: Operators have became trapped between the MEWP and an object e.g. steelwork while working at height. In some cases it is reported that operators were pushed onto the platform controls which led to their sustained involuntary operation and the operator becoming trapped. 

    The IPAF Manufacturers’ Technical Committee is looking at potential design developments that can help to protect against the sustained involuntary operation of platform controls.

    Raising User Awareness: Meanwhile, IPAF has reviewed the training programme to increase operator awareness of such risks and the measures they should take to avoid them. Managers also need to be aware of specific precautions and procedures and additional material is being prepared for use in the IPAF MEWPs for Managers course.

    Best Practice Guidance: PAIG is producing a best practice guide on the use of MEWPs in confined overhead areas to be widely distributed. The guide will draw on the work carried out with the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA).

    Gil Male IPAF Technical Officer said “It is important to identify when operators are at risk and for site management to take particular care when work is planned in confined overhead areas. Site risk assessments, advice on the selection of MEWPs and method statements for operating in areas where trapping risks are present are all measures that can help. The planned best practice guidance to be produced by PAIG will address these issues.”

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