Australia's EWPA advises against unauthorised machine alterations
By Sarah Ann McCay19 October 2012
Australia’s EWPA (Elevating Work Platform Association) is educating its local market on the dangers of unauthorised alterations to equipment by end users.
The association has issued a Guidance Note Technical Bulletin on the modification of EWPs (Elevating Work Platforms) by end users. The guidance note is to prevent unauthorised manufacturer equipment alterations that no longer comply with Australian Standards or are no longer in accordance with workplace health and safety regulations.
EWPA issued its guidance note after a series of incidents involving unintentional operation of upper control box joystick controllers on scissor lifts. To prevent such accidents, end users have been modifying equipment, for example, by fitting additional guarding. However, the EWPA stresses that such modifications, which are often ad-hoc in nature, may well introduce new hazards to the workplace.
Phil Newby, executive director of the EWPA said: “While the EWPA, end users and owners are seeking a timely resolution to protection of controls, appropriate solutions may take some time to develop. In the meantime, end users must be aware unauthorised modifications may jeopardise operator lives.”
Formed in 1987, the EWPA of Australia has more than 400 member companies, representing manufacturers, suppliers, rental companies, owner/users and service providers.