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    HSE SAFETY NOTICE: AVOIDING MEWP CRUSHING/TRAPPING

    Warning to MEWP suppliers and users as new industry guidance published

    HSE has issued Safety NoticeAvoiding trapping/crushing injuries to people in the platform of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) following the publication of new industry guidance on safety in the use of MEWPs.

    The guidance is to help the construction industry reduce the risk of trapping and crushing injuries to people working in mobile elevating work platforms. The HSE Notice advices MEWP suppliers and users to act on the guidance.

    HSE state the following action is required

    “Anyone engaged in the supply or use of MEWPS should familiarise themselves with the guidance and act on its recommendations. The guidance is relevant to anyone using MEWPs, not just those in the construction industry. Key areas for attention are as follows:

    • Effective work planning;
    • Selection of equipment for the specific tasks and environment;
    • Training of managers and operators including on the specific machine to be used; and
    • Preparation and practice of detailed procedures to be followed if someone is trapped and needs to be rescued quickly to minimise harm.”

    HSE add that inspectors will “consider enforcement action where they believe there is a risk of entrapment which is not being managed effectively”.

    Comment

    This HSE Safey Notice is addressed to MEWP suppliers and users.

    We are aware that some MEWP users have considered the retrofitting of devices to reduce the risk of crushing or entrapment. Indeed, the industry guidance states that a “task specific risk assessment may indicate that fitting additional equipment or device(s) to a MEWP may provide additional safety in particular types of work”.

    However, the guidance also highlights the minefield of restrictions and regulations which surround modifications to CE marked equipment. Improvements in MEWP safety through design is therefore more likely to come from proactive work by suppliers and manufacturers.

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