This safety alert reminds owners and operators of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) to be aware of the machine’s capabilities and always operate within its limits.

Background

A worker sustained fatal injuries while operating a three wheeled MEWP on a terraced property while picking avocados. The MEWP was found tipped over with the boom and basket in the fully extended position.

Three wheeled orchard MEWP tipped over.

Action required

  • inspect and maintain equipment as per the manufacturer’s specifications, including  daily inspections before operating the MEWP
  • keep maintenance and inspection records
  • where possible, remove hazards including logs, large tree branches, large rocks and thick undergrowth from the operating areas of the MEWP
  • ensure controls are correctly labelled and legible
  • develop safe work procedures with a site map highlighting any known site specific hazards, eg:
    1. Steep gradients that are outside the manufacturer's recommendations for the machine,
    2. Slippery, soft or uneven ground, ruts and washouts,
    3. Banks, pits, drains and irrigation lines,
    4. Animal burrows,
    5. Power lines and fences.
  • train and assess operators to ensure  they are  competent for each model of MEWP they operate
  • operators should:
    1. Have a clear understanding of the machine’s capabilities,
    2. Be familiar with the hazards included in the site map and are able to follow the safe work procedure,
    3. Have easy access to operator’s manual.
  • the MEWP should never be operated on soft surfaces or side-on to any sloping ground steeper than recommended by the manufacturer
  • operators should wear an appropriate restraint device with fixed length lanyard that restricts the operator to the basket
  • re-assess operators for competency on a regular basis

Further information

For more information call 13 10 50.

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