Research proves MEWPs are most effective tool - report from Europlatform
By Maria Hadlow17 September 2009
In a survey on low level access solutions, Crown House Technologies, part of the Laing O'Rourke Group has found push around, powered access equipment to be far more time efficient than traditional solutions such as scaffold towers and podium steps.
In a last minute change to the Europlatform conference programme held in Milan on 15 September, Gerry Mulholland, health and safety leader at CHt (Crown House Technologies), who initiated a rigorous assessment of work at height policies and procedures at CHt described the results of the research.
He said, "Following our study we were able to provide evidence that MEWPs (mobile elevated work platforms) are safer, more productive, ergonomic and avoid unnecessary strain injury. MEWPs are also easier for site management to maintain the appropriate safe standards on site as there are fewer options offered, therefore, fewer opportunities to make the wrong choice; their automation reduces accidents caused by human error. General site opinion from our workforce is that MEWPs get the job done."
The findings were the result of a complete review of work at height procedures up to 4.5 m for mechanical and electrical installation carried out by CHt in 2008. The research began with a series of seven road shows attended by over 170 people across the UK where CHt asked their workforce, "What do you want to work from?"
Falls from height are the primary cause of serious injury in the construction industry. CHt's detailed review found that just under a fifth of all accidents on site are related to access equipment. A small proportion of these are caused by MEWPs (19%), compared with podiums, mobile towers, ladders and A-frames.