Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Working at height - mobile elevating work platforms

The following equipment is considered to be a MEWP:
* Vehicle mounted, articulated and telescopic booms
* Self propelled articulated and telescopic booms
* Trailer mounted articulated and telescopic booms
* Scissor lifts

Often known as 'cherry pickers' they are useful for working at height.

Problems with MEWPs include
* Collapsing
* Overturning
Ÿ* Persons being thrown from the carrier
Ÿ* Carrier being trapped against fixed structures
* People being crushed by them

The risk of falling from a MEWP is increased by a sudden movement caused by an impact, ground movement, or failure of a stability critical part of the MEWP. Some form of lanyard or other protection can prevent these events causing injury.

Issues to consider are really a combination of access to height, vehicle use, lifting operation and use of work equipment. In particular;

* Stability and slope of ground
* Hidden underground voids
* Overhead cables
* Vehicle collision
* Engine acting as ignition source
* Engine fumes creating a hazard (e.g. confined space)
* Formal inspection of equipment
* User checks

The correct equipment needs to be selected and operators must be competent.

No comments: