Powered Access Platforms – The To-ing and Fro-ing


It’s not just the safety of MEWPs going up and down that’s important – it’s the delivery to site and transport back as well. The “To-ing and Fro-ing”.

There are nearly a million deliveries a year of MEWPs, and whether your company is buying or selling one, or renting one out, there are risks to be assessed. Of the incidents involving MEWPs over a third involved the delivery drivers, with engineers and operators accounting for over half. These are incidents happening even before the MEWP was put into workplace operation.

So how were these accidents happening?

For delivery drivers, half of the incidents reported occurred during the loading and unloading of the MEWP. Specifically, they were caused by insecure loads (often the canopy becoming loose during the journey) and machines that fell off between the ramps.

For the engineers, incidents were identified when hand tools were being used and slipping or tripping when the MEWP was being prepared for operation.

Platform operator incidents were as a result of lack of observation on unfamiliar sites and not giving enough thought to planning a route to where the MEWP was to be used.

With the pressure on site to meet deadlines and schedules, it can be easy to overlook some safety checks. A risk assessment needs to be prepared before the MEWP arrives to ensure the safety of on site personnel and the public if offloading from the road.

IPAF UK publish a very helpful leaflet for planning safe deliveries of MEWPs.

Three key points are made:

1) Ensure that a senior manager is responsible for planning MEWP deliveries, collection and transportation

2) Perform a proper risk assessment for all MEWP operations and document this process

3) Ensure that all employees are adequately trained to fulfil their responsibilities

Powered Access Platforms are incredible machines providing companies with cost-effective ways of working at height. But, there are inherent risks associated with their use. The to-ing and fro-ing and not just the up and down operation must be given very careful consideration.

If you need more help and advice with MEWP training find out more here and give Promax Access a call.