The Construction Industry Plant Safety Group (CIPSG) and International Powered Access Federation published revised safety guidance about how to reduce the risks of trapping and crushing incidents when using mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).
“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 Brian Parker, IPAF head of safety and technical. "The powered access industry has changed significantly over the past five to 10 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."
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. It contains guidance on planning, risk assessment, MEWP selection, operator training, familiarization and rescue.
It has been compiled by the CIPSG for MEWPs which is chaired by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) and administered and supported by IPAF. 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.
The guidance was originally published in 2010 and has undergone significant revision in this latest version. The document has been restructured to improve readability and understanding of the topic and 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.
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.