How To Control These Common MEWP Hazards

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Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) are extremely useful pieces of equipment. However, any MEWP lifting equipment carries a number of safety risks that need to be considered so that safe and effective operation can ensue.

Let’s take a look at 4 of the most common MEWP hazards and how to ensure that you have control over them.

Falling Hazards

One of the most significant risks when working with MEWPs is their potential to fall. Working at a height is inherently dangerous, but these risks can be mitigated through proper training and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Such PPE might include harnesses or lanyard attachments when working from an elevated platform. Guardrails also need to be in place and properly secured around the platform whenever the cherry picker rises. To ensure one remains safely inside the platform cage, one should never climb over or lean on the guardrails.

Overhead Hazards

Another potential risk of working with MEWPs is that hazards can often come from above, whether they be ceilings, tree branches, beams, or power lines. Before raising an MEWP, it is essential to do a thorough site assessment to ensure that any overhead hazards are accounted for.

If needed, a MEWP with an insulating boom should be used or otherwise ensure that the platform is positioned safely away from overhead hazards. Always remain aware of your surroundings to avoid being caught off guard by overhead dangers.

Tripping Hazards

Another major risk of working with MEWPs is that they can tip over if not operated on stable ground, if the load capacity is exceeded, or if the weight distribution is wrong. To avoid these pitfalls, ensure that it is set up on stable and level ground, and that outriggers and stabilisers are set up as needed.

Also, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for load capacities and do not exceed them. It is important to train operators to understand the limitations of the MEWP and how to properly distribute the weight on the platform so that it doesn’t tip over.

Entanglement Hazards

Another major hazard of working with MEWPs is that workers can become entangled in moving parts, such as arms or rotating booms. This can cause serious injury or even death in the worst-case scenario.

Avoid this by wearing close-fitting clothing. Moreover, remove any loose items, such as jewellery or accessories. Long hair should also be tied up so that it is kept out of the way and cannot get caught in any moving parts. All body parts should be kept inside the platform at all times, especially while the platform is moving.

If needed, proper shutdown procedures should be followed before performing maintenance and repairs. If an emergency shutdown is required, personnel should be well-versed in the procedures involved.

Proper training is the best way to avoid all these MEWP hazards, so be sure to train your operators before letting them work on these machines.

If you are looking for high-quality MEWP lifting equipment, Sterling Access has you covered. Contact us today for more information.