MEWPs for Tree Work – What you need to know

Statistics from the HSE confirm that in the tree work industry, accidents resulting in major injury occur more than in the construction industry. Over 4,000 people have had their life affected by tree work activities. It’s a dangerous industry. Most of the fatal and major injuries are associated with chainsaw operations, being hit by a falling tree or branches, or by falling.

Between 2000 and 2013, 60 people have been killed doing tree work.

MEWPS For Tree Work

Because of the high number of accidents in the arboriculture industry the HSE commissioned an evaluation of the use of Mobile Elevated Working Platforms (MEWPs) in such work. It’s a 74 page Report that can be downloaded from the Promax Downloads page here.

The research showed there are a number of advantages to be gained by using MEWP’s for tree work:

  • Improved safety for operator and groundsman
  • Reduced effort reducing need for rest thus improving productive time
  • Reduce time for individual jobs allowing more to be done in a day
  • Reduces time required where the work may cause obstruction or disturbance to others
  • Since there is potential for improving productivity there is an opportunity to reduce the costs of individual jobs and improve competitiveness.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 do not say MEWPs have to be used for all tree work. However, the HSE recommend that the use of MEWPs should always be considered when planning tree work. They suggest they are particularly suited to:

  • Tree work in urban areas
  • Work on diseased or dying trees where tree climbing is difficult or arduous because of tree species or tree form
  • Where there is a reasonable number of trees to be worked on.

The HSE Leaflet AFAF403 leaflet describes the safe working practices to be followed when using MEWPs for tree work. Using AFAF403 along with the manufacturer’s Handbook will form part of the risk assessment that identifies the controls needed to be in place for tree work.

Promax Access provides full training to meet these requirements including

  • Risk assessment before starting work
  • Identify the appropriate equipment
  • The number of operatives required
  • The personal protective equipment (PPE) required
  • Full operator and groundsman training in the use of MEWPs
  • Safety harness and securing the operator
  • Safe working near to highways

Since only trained and authorised people may operate the platform and safety at height is the paramount concern, Promax Access training courses maintain the highest standards.

For more information regarding the Training programmes please contact Promax Access.