IPAF launches 10-year inspection scheme

By Lindsey Anderson14 May 2014

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has released guidance for a new major inspection scheme, which should be carried out after 10 years of service, and then every five years following that, it says.

The major inspection would validate structural integrity and functionality of critical components of a MEWP that goes beyond the manufacturer’s design life.

Design life is defined as the duration determined by the manufacturer for which a structure or a structural component might be used for its intended purpose with recommended maintenance.

“The growing demand around the world for second-hand machines and the retention of machines in some rental fleets has led to the use of MEWPs beyond the original design life," said Chris Wraith, IPAF technical & safety executive.

"We need to recognise that there are machines in use which: i) have been in service for 10 years or more, yet may not have reached their design life with regard to usage, and ii) have reached their design life prior to 10 years because of intensive usage or use in a severe operating environment. This is where the new guidance comes in.”

The document reiterates that equipment owners should fulfil their legal obligations and ensure that MEWPs are maintained in good repair and safe working order as laid out by the manufacturer. This could include pre-use inspection; interim, frequent or periodic inspections; and six-monthly or annual inspection/examination by a competent person.

“The harsher the operating environment, the more frequent the inspection should be,” said Mr Wraith. “Depending on the frequency of use and severity of the operating environment, planned inspections should be carried out at a frequency to enable the MEWP to be kept in a safe and satisfactory condition.”

The inspection scheme can also assist owners in determining if a MEWP is within safe design and use criteria when they acquire a machine with insufficient service, maintenance history and inspection records, or suspect a MEWP to have been exposed to exceptional circumstances which may have affected the structural integrity of critical components, thus jeopardising the safe use.

IPAF’s new guidance on major inspections is available at www.ipaf.org/inspections.

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