IPAF Launches Street Smart Safety Campaign for MEWPs

IPAF Street Smart Campaign

April 9, 2019 - Working safely on or next to roads is the focus of a new campaign from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), launched at Bauma 2019 in Germany.

IPAF’s Street Smart safety campaign outlines the dangers of using mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) on or next to roads. With the risk of being struck by a passing vehicle such as bus or truck, prior planning is needed so the MEWP can operate safely.

“MEWPs are designed to safely conduct temporary work at height in just about every environment, including on roads or in public places,” said Tim Whiteman, CEO of IPAF. “However, being hit by a bus or truck while operating a MEWP is a leading cause of serious injury or death, according to our accident analysis.”

Andrew Delahunt, IPAF’s technical and safety director, said, “These accidents are almost always catastrophic. It is critical to segregate the working area to have separation from traffic. Operators should ensure they are seen by using signs, cones, beacons, and high-vis clothing.”

Key points of guidance in the campaign include:

Plan ahead – Assess risk, develop and use a traffic management scheme.
Be visible – Wear hi-visibility PPE to position cones/signs, ensure vehicles are conspicuous (use flashing beacons/rear chevrons), and work areas are well lit.
Manage traffic – Use temporary traffic lights or close roads to separate the working area. Use signs and cones for maximum warning to oncoming vehicles.
Implement an exclusion zone – Segregate the working area from passing vehicles. Position the MEWP so it doesn’t overhang into traffic.
Load and unload safely – Load and unload in well-lit areas, away from traffic or obstructions. When unloading next to a road, make sure it is segregated from traffic

“This campaign highlights key risks and how to avoid them,” Delahunt said. “We hope that, along with previous IPAF campaigns such as Plan Ahead for Safety and Back to Basics, it will continue to help people use powered access safely.”

For more information on all of IPAF’s safety campaigns and links to relevant technical guidance, visit www.ipaf.org/safe.