The International Powered Access Federation launched a new campaign on operation mobile elevating work platforms safely along highways or next to roads at last week’s Bauma Trade Fair in Munich. IPAF’s Street Smart safety campaign outlines the dangers of using MEWPS on or next to roads. With the risk of being struck by a passing vehicle such as a 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 and managing director 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.”
“These accidents are almost always catastrophic,” said Andrew Delahunt, IPAF’s technical and safety director. “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 personal protection equipment to position cones and signs. Ensure vehicles are conspicuous (use flashing beacons/rear chevrons) and work areas 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 does not overhang into traffic;
- Load and unload safely: In a well-lit area, 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,” added Delahunt. “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.”