Image MEWPSAFETY UK Copyright © 2016
MEWPs Falling from the platform
One of the biggest risks when using boom-type platforms is being thrown out of the basket if the boom swings, jolts or tilts away from the machine’s centre of gravity (this can occur when travelling in a MEWP), or if the operator overreaches (usually by standing on the guard rails). Other causes can be impact by other Vehicles or snagging the boom or basket on obstructions. The precautions described in this guidance are designed to minimise the chances of this happening but any risk assessment must still consider the use of personal fall prevention equipment.
Where there is a risk of impact or someone falling from a boom-type MEWP, those people should wear appropriate fall prevention equipment.
The preferred option is to stop the person falling from the work platform by using a work restraint system. A work restraint system should normally consist of a fullbody harness (BS EN 361) connected to a lanyard (BS EN 354) which is connected to an anchor point on the MEWP basket. From the anchor point, the lanyard length should be short enough to prevent a person reaching a position where they could fall. The lanyard may contain an energy-absorbing device (BS EN 355), but should still only be used as part of a work restraint system.
Do not use retractable type fall arresters (BS EN 360) unless they are suitable and have been specifically tested in the proposed manner of use.
For information about restraint systems used in arboriculture and forestry, refer to the HSE leaflet Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) for tree work AFAG403.
Working next to, or over water must be assessed to identify whether the greatest risk of injury to the operator is from falling from the MEWP basket or drowning, if the MEWP falls into the water. The decision can then be made as to whether it is most appropriate to wear a harness to address the fall risk or whether a harness should not be worn due to the risk of drowning. Life jackets, not harnesses should be worn where there is a risk of drowning.
Acknowledgement: The information shown above is adopted from HSE General Information Sheet No 6 (GEIS6) Crown Copyright © 2014