A new concise safety document entitled ‘Rescue of Persons from MEWPs’ is now freely available. Published by the Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group (SFPSG), the 10-page publication provides guidance to put plans in place to rescue powered access users if they ever become stranded at height.
The new guidance document has been compiled by the SFPSG MEWPs Group which is chaired by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) and administered and supported by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF).
Kevin Minton, chief executive of the CPA, said, “We anticipate that the guidance will be a useful reference tool for MEWP hire companies, customers, operators and manufacturers. When MEWPs are used there is always an inherent risk of people becoming stranded at height due to a machine malfunctioning, breaking down or other influences. Although measures can be put into place to reduce the risk such as regular maintenance of equipment and the use of competent, medically fit operators, it is still important that organisations have plans in place should a rescue from a MEWP ever become necessary.
“The publication gives guidance to the organisation that has control of the planning, management and use of the MEWP on-site. Presented in easily digestible sections, it covers factors such as the Health and Safety legislative requirements, responsibility for rescue, means of rescue, the use of the Emergency Services and discusses scenarios such as rescues using another MEWP,” he continued.
Andrew Delahunt, technical and safety director at IPAF, said, “We now have a simple document to guide users and managers in how to plan for rescue situations. Planning is critical to use a MEWP safely at height. By including rescue planning and the appropriate methods to recover personnel if necessary, this potentially life-saving action can be properly prepared for. We’d like to thank the contribution of the many experienced people who have provided input and identified the priority for safe rescue.“
The Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group MEWPs Group has membership from the CPA, IPAF, HSE (Health & Safety Executive), CITB (Construction Industry Training Board), BCSA (British Constructional Steelwork Association), FASET (Fall Arrest Safety Equipment and Training), SAFed (Safety Assessment Federation) and NPORS (National Plant Operators Registration Scheme), as well as significant representation from MEWP owners, manufacturers and major construction companies. It meets regularly to share information on MEWPs safety, and has set up working groups to produce guidance and address specific issues.