Industry Alert: Prevent Unauthorised Use of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms
EXITING OR ENTERING A MEWP PLATFORM AT HEIGHT
PROHIBITION OF TRANSFER OF PERSONNEL
MEWPs are not designed to transfer people from one level to another, or for people to exit the platform at height. People should only enter or exit the work platform at access positions at ground level or on the MEWP chassis.
RECENT FATALITY CASE RELATED TO ENTRY AND EXITING OF MEWP PLATFORM
A migrant worker died on 15 November 2021 after falling from the fourth storey of a building that was under construction in Boon Lay. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said the fatal accident occurred when a 35-year-old foreign national was trying to board the platform of a boom lift from the fourth storey of the building when he slipped and fell to the ground. He was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, where he died from his injuries. (Source from The Straits Times on 16th Nov 2021).
Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) are specifically designed to lift people to a position where they can work at height safely within the platform. There are exceptional cases where MEWPs may be used to gain access to or from a work area at height. Exiting the platform at height may be permitted:
If after a robust risk assessment, it can be clearly demonstrated that it is the safest and most effective means of accessing a particular location.
If it is part of a formal emergency rescue plan.
Employers should ensure that exiting the platform at height to access a particular location is addressed in company safety procedures and training programmes before the procedure is undertaken.
A site-specific risk assessment should be undertaken to ensure that all associated hazards and risks have been considered, and relevant control measures have been implemented. Consider the need for: → Fall prevention methods to be maintained at all times during the transfer. → An operator to remain in the raised MEWP platform at all times. → Action to minimise dynamic loads from being exerted on the platform. → Action to prevent unexpected or inadvertent movement of the platform. → The use of designated MEWP exit points and not allowing exit or entry of the platform by climbing over the guardrails. → Supervision by a responsible body to ensure that the identified safe method is adhered to by all personnel involved. → Possible rescue from any associated structure. Further information relating to exiting and entering the platform at height can be found from the following sources:
Manufacturer - Specific Instructions
ACOP SS616-2016 - Approved code of practice for safe use of mobile elevating work platforms
ISO 18893 MEWP - Safety Principles, Inspection, Maintenance and Operation
BS 8460 - Code of Practice for the Safe Use of MEWPs
GEIS6 - The Selection, Management and Use of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms
AS 2550.10 - Cranes, Hoists and Winches – Safe Use Part 10 MEWPs