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IPAF and CIPSG Release Revised Safety Guide Aiming to Reduce Entrapments and Crushing Incidents

IPAF and CIPSG Release Revised Safety Guide Aiming to Reduce Entrapments and Crushing Incidents

Revised safety guidance explaining how to reduce the risks of trapping and crushing incidents when using mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) has been published by the Construction Industry Plant Safety Group (CIPSG).

Developed in partnership with the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), the 22-page Good Practice Guidance for Reducing Trapping/Crushing Injuries to People in MEWPs is now available to view and download free of charge from either the IPAF or CPA websites.

MEWPs are widely acknowledged to be one of the safest and most efficient means of enabling temporary working at height. Between 2016 and 2020, incidents entered into the IPAF Reporting Portal from 15 countries identified that 73 people died in entrapment incidents globally.

Entrapment injuries to persons in the MEWP platform are usually serious and often fatal. The guidance has been produced by the CIPSG for MEWPs to raise awareness of the risks and covers the measures that can be used to reduce them.

“This updated guidance has taken a while to develop, but it was much-needed, as data gathered via IPAF’s Reporting Portal shows that entrapment is consistently one of the top five causes of serious injuries and deaths when using MEWPs,” said Parker.

The document contains information on planning, risk assessment, MEWP selection, operator training, familiarization, and rescue. Emphasis is placed on the practical measures that MEWP users can take to avoid entrapment.

The guidance was originally published in 2010, and has undergone significant revision in this latest version. It has been restructured to improve readability and understanding of the topic. In addition, new illustrations have been added.

The content reflects and builds upon findings from the recently published Health & Safety Executive Research Report (HSE RR1180:2022), which examined the effectiveness of secondary guarding when employed in a range of different entrapment scenarios.

“Much work and cross-industry consultation has gone into this document to ensure it is comprehensive, clear and concise. The powered access industry has changed significantly over the past five to ten years, with technological advancements driving secondary guarding devices, and machine capabilities and complexities. Meanwhile, the breadth of industry end applications has developed considerably over that period,” said Parker.

Parker continued, “We feel this new guidance document adequately encompasses all of these changes and provides an important point of reference to aid in minimizing entrapment risks for all those planning, executing and supervising work at height using MEWPs.”

Kevin Minton, Chair of the Construction Industry Plant Safety Group for MEWPs, said the guidance will be a vital reference tool for MEWP hire companies, customers, operators, and manufacturers.

“Presented in easily digestible sections, it is aimed at those using and supervising MEWPs, and those responsible for rescuing entrapped people, as well as anyone involved in planning and risk assessing work with MEWPs, specifying equipment, managing the work or organizing training,” Minton stated.

The Construction Industry Plant Safety Group for MEWPs has membership from the CPA, IPAF, HSE and Fall Arrest Safety Equipment and Training (FASET), as well as significant representation from MEWP owners, manufacturers, and major construction companies.

It meets regularly to share information on MEWPs safety, and has set up working groups to produce guidance and address specific issues.


Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.