It is important to select the right MEWP for the job and site.
Have a plan for rescuing someone from a MEWP and practise it, someone on the ground should know what to do in an emergency and how to operate the machine’s ground controls.
There are a number of precautions that can reduce the risk from MEWP hazards. These are:
Confined overhead working: Brief operators on the dangers, and the safe system of work to be followed. If there are overhead structures against which an operator could be trapped and then pushed onto the MEWP controls, consider selecting a MEWP that has been designed to prevent such accidental contact.
MEWPs with shrouded or otherwise protected controls are available.
Keeping the platform tidy will reduce the risk of the operator tripping or losing balance while in the basket.
Ground conditions: The platform should be used on firm and level ground. Any temporary covers should be strong enough to withstand the applied pressure. Localised ground features, eg trenches, manholes and uncompacted backfill, can all lead to overturning.
Outriggers: Outriggers must be extended and chocked before raising the platform. Spreader plates may be necessary, check the equipment manual.
Guardrails: Make sure the work platform is fitted with effective guard rails and toe boards.
Arresting falls: if there is still a risk of people falling from the platform a harness with a short work restraint lanyard must be secured to a suitable manufacturer provided anchorage point within the basket to stop the wearer from getting into a position where they could fall from the carrier.
Falling objects: barrier off the area around the platform so that falling tools or objects do not strike people below.
Weather: high winds can tilt platforms and make them unstable. Set a maximum safe wind speed for operation. Storms and snowfalls can also damage platforms. Inspect the platform before use after severe weather.
Handling materials: if used to install materials check the weight and dimensions of materials and consider any manual handling and load distribution issues. You may need additional lifting equipment to transport materials to the work position.
Nearby hazards: do not operate a MEWP close to overhead cables or other dangerous machinery, or allow any part of the arm to protrude into a traffic route.