Lifting Safety

Safety seems to be on the mind. Construction Safety Week 2024 is scheduled for May so forgive me in discussing it a tad early.

Lifting Safety
@luca piccini basile -

A few months ago, I connected with Aric Getty, global head and vice president of 3M’s Personal Safety Division for Hearing and Body Protection speaking about safety and fall protection. At the risk of a gutsy pun, the opportunity fell into my lap. At the top of the advice for rental companies was to understand how PPE works in each application. As straightforward as it is, it's still great advice. Everyone should take a moment and refresh themselves so they can walk customers through safety features. Not to mention run through a maintenance check to ensure things are working as they should.

I bring this up for two points. One, because this issue features Rental’s aerial industry report featuring insight from a small handful of experts within the industry (page 8). Among the voices, you’ll find representatives of MEC Aerial Work Platforms. I happened to catch them during ARA 2024 where we spoke about the industry as well as (surprise) safety innovations of MEWPs.

Just recently, the International Powered Access Federation has also initiated the launch of its third annual global safety campaign. This year’s title: “CRUSHING CAN KILL!” As described in their announcement on March 20, the campaign “emphasizes the importance of training, proper planning, and adherence to safety protocols when operating MEWPs and using pedestrian control mode.”

According to their numbers:

  • Most affected occupations: operators, delivery drivers, technicians/engineers
  • 118 fatalities over the past 10 years
  • 16 major and 5 minor injuries attributed to entrapment
  • 68% of fatalities are attributed to 3a mobile vertical machines (last three years of fatal accident data)

“Recognising the global reach of the campaign, IPAF has developed legislation-neutral guidance documents tailored for planners, employers, managers, supervisors, operators, rescuers, and training bodies. These resources aim to standardise safety practices worldwide and support the ongoing development of a new ISO standard for MEWP safety systems.”

As IPAF rolls out its campaign and the busier side of construction season begins, consider taking a look at your safety protocols on all the tools and equipment (heavy and light) in your fleet. Every time I visit a tradeshow and get a walk-around of the new offerings, there’s always a feature or two designed to improve safety. If they don’t, I’m going to make sure to bring it up from here on.

Stay safe out there.