Thursday, July 8, 2010

Importance of Maintenance of MEWPs - WSHC & WSH Bulletin

7 Jul 2010
A number of workers have lost their lives in recent incidents involving the use of mobile elevated work platforms (MEWP). The workers were trapped between components of the boom lift or scissor lift and surrounding structures. Therefore, it is important to ensure the safe and proper operation of MEWP, including checking that the MEWP is functioning and properly maintained. The frequency and type of maintenance and inspections of MEWP will depend on its usage, environmental conditions and the nature of operations.

Fig 1: a boomlift
Pre-Use Checks

Before work commences, a visual and functional routine checks should be conducted on the MEWP, including checking for:
  • lubrication and hydraulic oil levels

  • leakages

  • structural damages

  • malfunction of controls and safety devices

  • other functionality checks

Besides the routine pre-use checks, the MEWP must be serviced at stipulated timeframes, such as statutory inspection at least once in 6 months, or in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. A preventive maintenance programme has to be devised by the user or owner based on his risk assessment and previous inspection/maintenance results. All inspections must be recorded and retained for inspection when the need arises.

Further Information

1. British Standards BS 8460:2005: Safe use of Mobile Elevated Work Platform.

2. British Standards BS EN 280:2001:2009: Design calculations – Stability criteria – Construction Safety – Examinations and tests

3. Statement of best practices of general training and familiarisation for aerial work platform equipment. Click HERE.

4. Safe Use of Mobile Elevated Work Platform. Click HERE.

5. The selection and management of Mobile Elevated Work Platform. Click HERE.
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  1. Some good advice here, as reported, there are more injuries and fatalaties due to the use of MEWP's however the inclusion of anti-entrapment devices and other safety measures will hopefully reduce this number in the years ahead.