Reducing the risks of trapping and crushing incidents with MEWPs

By Leila Steed06 February 2023

The Good Practice Guidance for Reducing Trapping/Crushing Injuries to People in MEWPs guide

A new safety guide on how to reduce the risks of trapping and crushing incidents when using MEWPs, has been published by the Construction Industry Plant Safety Group (CIPSG) in partnership with IPAF.

The “Good Practice Guidance for Reducing Trapping/Crushing Injuries to People in MEWPs” provides guidance on planning, risk assessment, MEWP selection, operator training, familiarisation and rescue.

An updated version of a 2010 publication, it focuses on the “practical measures that MEWP users can take to avoid entrapment” and is free to download.

Kevin Minton, Chair of the Construction Industry Plant Safety Group for MEWPs, which is run by the Construction Plant Association, 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.”

Compared to the original 2010 version, CIPSG’s 2022 revision of the guide also takes into account new health & safety data from IPAF, and the impact of technology and equipment developments.

Brian Parker, IPAF’s Head of Safety & Technical, said, “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”.

Although using MEWPs is among the safest of ways to carry out works at height, when accidents do occur the injuries suffered by users are “usually serious and often fatal”. 

According to global data from the IPAF Reporting Portal - through which companies can report accidents, entrapment incidents resulted in 73 deaths between 2016 and 2020 alone.

“Much work and cross-industry consultation has gone into this document to ensure it is comprehensive, clear and concise,” said Parker.

“The powered access industry has changed 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.”

According to CIPSG, the guide also builds on “findings in the new Health & Safety Executive Research Report into the effectiveness of secondary guarding in entrapment scenarios (HSE RR1180:2022).

To download the “Good Practice Guidance for Reducing Trapping/Crushing Injuries to People in MEWPs”, visit: or 

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