New IPAF Safety Campaign for MEWPs Focuses on Planning Ahead

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) launched a campaign at Intermat in Paris to educate users of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) about the importance of planning ahead for safety when conducting temporary work at height.

IPAF’s safety campaign for 2018-19 outlines why operators and managers should carry out full risk assessments, choose the correct equipment for the job, conduct site and machinery inspections, use trained and familiarized operators under proper supervision, and implement adequate segregation from other plant machinery and traffic.

“Falls from height are still the main cause of deaths in the workplace,” said Tim Whiteman, CEO of IPAF. “MEWPs are specifically designed to safely conduct temporary work at height and have been recognized as such by safety bodies across the globe. Working safely at height using MEWPs is underpinned by good planning, trained and properly supervised operators using the correct machine for the job. IPAF’s latest campaign is all about reminding people of the importance of proper planning—safety at height begins before you’ve even left the ground.”

Andrew Delahunt, IPAF’s technical and safety director, said accidents are often preventable with appropriate planning.

“From IPAF’s accident data analysis, we’ve identified four key accident causes that can result in falls from the MEWP platform,” Delahunt said. “These accidents can be prevented by proper planning and safely managing the use of MEWPs. We are highlighting these factors so that managers and operators know the risks and know their responsibilities.”

The key points of guidance in the campaign cover: 

  • Risky operator behavior
  • Exiting the platform at height
  • Setting up near other machinery or vehicles
  • Mechanical failure

To support IPAF’s new safety campaign, a new online spreader pad calculator has been launched at pads.ipaf.org, while IPAF also offers Andy Access safety posters that can be used to deliver quick and simple safety talks on sites or in breakrooms. IPAF is also developing a series of Toolbox Talks to help get key messages across.

For more on the new safety campaign, visit www.ipaf.org.