A MEWP (Mobile Elevated Working Platform) is a vehicle specifically designed to ensure the safety of those working at heights.
A basket platform on a boom lift allows workers to reach heights safely and be able to carry out a range of tasks and jobs without the risk of slipping or falling.
However, this level of safety can only be maintained if the correct PPE (personal protection equipment) is worn.
IPAF statistics show that, since January 2012, there have been 35 fatal falls from MEWPS. Of these, 85% involved a combination of the worker climbing or overreaching from the platform and a sudden, unexpected movement of the vehicle ,such as the MEWP hitting an obstacle, driving over uneven ground, or colliding with another vehicle. Accidents of this nature can result in a catapult action, which is a sudden jolt of the platform, ejecting the person from the basket.
In this situation, which is often completely unpredictable, a harness, with a lanyard attaching the worker to a safe anchor point, is the only protection that will stop a fatal fall. Despite this, many still choose not to wear PPE, using the excuse that they don’t know which is most suitable.
Although any PPE is better than none, the best option is a full body harness, attached to a lanyard, which offers the best support. A restraint belt attached to the lanyard would stop the fall, but could leave the person suspended suffering from injuries resulting from the compression of the belt to the abdomen. The lanyard should also contain a shock absorption device to ensure that it doesn’t stretch or extend when the pressure and weight from a fall is applied. Another consideration is the length and anchor point of the lanyard. Too much give and the worker could fall a considerable distance, risking colliding with other obstacles or buildings.
The Clunk Click Campaign
The campaign was created by the Construction Plant-hire Association and the International Powered Access Federation, jointly known as the Powered Access Interest Group (PAIG).
The campaign is simple, and has been adopted by IPAF who launched it internationally, with many other countries now supporting it, including Germany with “Click Clack”, Italy with “Clic Clac” and North American with “Click It!” The supporting posters and stickers are intended to be attached to the boom platforms, and concisely explain the best type of PPE so workers see the message and remember to properly and safely attach themselves to the basket.
If you work with boom type platforms, you can support the Click Clunk campaign by getting these stickers and displaying them on the relevant vehicles and machines. A simple reminder may be enough to save a life. You can get stickers and information by contacting IPAF on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Your Team Safe From Falls
The expert team at Health and Safety Training Ltd support any campaign aimed at raising awareness of serious safety issues and preventing accidents.
Our IPAF Safety Harness Use and Inspection training course can also help to keep you and your team safe. It will ensure everyone has a thorough understanding of the relevant legislation, and make sure they can identify and select the correct type of harness and PPE for the task at hand.
The course also teaches workers how to properly fit the harnesses to prevent falls and injury, and how to inspect and maintain it to ensure that it is fit for purpose before every use.First Aid: How to deal with severe bleeding at work HSE appeals to reduce workplace injuries in the North East