Updated MEWP guidance aims to help reduce entrapment incidents

AN updated safety publication which provides guidance on how to reduce the risks of trapping and crushing hazards when using MEWPs has been launched.

Published by the Construction Industry Plant Safety Group (CIPSG), the 22-page publication is entitled ‘Good Practice Guidance for Reducing Trapping/Crushing Injuries to People in MEWPs’.

The document has been compiled by the CIPSG for MEWPs, which is chaired by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) and administered and supported by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF).

The guidance sets out to inform people about the measures that can be used to reduce the risk and number of entrapment incidents by providing information on planning, risk assessment, MEWP selection, operator training, familiarisation and rescue. Emphasis is placed on the practical measures that users can take to avoid entrapment.

The first version of the guidance was originally published in 2010, and it has undergone ‘significant’ revision in this latest version. The document is said to have been restructured to improve readability and understanding of the topic, while new illustrations have been added.

The content 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.

Kevin Minton, chair of the Construction Industry Plant Safety Group for MEWPs, said, “The guidance will be a vital reference tool for MEWP hire companies, customers, operators and manufacturers. Presented in easily digestible sections, it is aimed at those using and supervising MEWPs, and those responsible for rescuing entrapped people, as well as anyone involved in planning and risk assessing work with MEWPs, specifying equipment, managing the work or organising training.

“We anticipate it will prove to be a useful training tool as it has been designed to be used in briefings or toolbox talks for supervisors and MEWP operators.”

Brian Parker, IPAF’s head of safety & technical, added, “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.

“Much work and cross-industry consultation has gone into this document to ensure it is thorough, comprehensive, clear and concise. The powered access industry has advanced significantly over the past five to ten 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.

“We feel this new guidance document adequately encompasses all of these changes and provides an important point of reference to aid in minimising entrapment risks for all those planning, executing and supervising work at height using MEWPs. We are very pleased to see it published for users to read and download completely free of charge.”

The publication is available to download from the CPA website at www.cpa.uk.net/safety-and-technical-publications/plant-safety-group or from IPAF’s website at www.ipaf.org/resources