The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) calling for comments from powered access platform users on managing access platform inspection, maintenance and thorough examinations of their equipment.
The Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group has produced some draft guidance entitled Managing the safe condition of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms – A practical approach to Inspection, Maintenance and Thorough Examination of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs).
The draft document has been written for application in the UK, within the UK legislative jurisdiction and can be accessed by IPAF members through the website www.ipaf.org. IPAF members are encouraged to consider the draft guidance and to give constructive comments using the relevant comment form by 27 May 2016.
An access platform inspection is required by UK law and is also important to prevent serious accidents, extend the lifespan of a machine and ensure a legal and protected resale value.
The main types of access platform inspection are:
– Pre-use access platform inspection checks
– Six-monthly or annual access platform inspection /examination by a competent person
– Major access platform inspections within ten years of service
A record of these checks should be kept throughout the machine’s lifespan and used to evidence safe working or passed on to the new owner when it is sold.
A pre-start inspection should be carried out every day and all operatives should be trained to carry them out and aware of any findings. The checks will confirm that the access platform is safe to use and identify any potential issues before working at height.
There are a number of key functions and features on access platforms which should be in full working order before the equipment is used. Even if the access equipment is rented from a reputable firm, the hirer is responsible for the health and safety of the people using it, so it is important to carry out your own checks as well as those done by the supplier.
Powered access platforms are only safe and efficient if they are in premium working condition and regular inspections and maintenance are required by law for lifting equipment. All equipment used to lift persons must undergo a thorough examination by a competent person at least once every six months. Don’t be afraid to ask for the credentials of whoever carries out the inspection and keep a record of the service history.
Powered access platforms should undergo a major inspection within 10 years of being originally put into service and then every 5 years after that. Machines that have had a sustained high use or worked in a corrosive environment may need to be inspected sooner. The inspection should only be performed by a competent person who is up to speed on developments relevant to the inspection and maintenance of powered access platforms such as legislation, standards and best practice and machine technology and design.
To take part in the consultation got to www.ipaf.org