The use of MEWPs can be hazardous if not properly managed and controlled. Therefore, legislation has been introduced to ensure safe use in the workplace. Instructor Training plays a crucial role in meeting these legal requirements, as instructors must be competent in the safe use of MEWPs and the relevant legislation and standards. This training covers the relevant legislation and standards, risk assessments, safety precautions, and practical instruction on how to operate and maintain the equipment.
Harness & Lanyard Safety
Harness and lanyard safety is an essential component of MEWP Instructor Training. A harness and lanyard are used to provide fall protection to the operator when working from a MEWP at height. A fall from a MEWP can result in serious injury or even death, so it is crucial that operators are properly trained in the use of harnesses and lanyards. During MEWP Instructor Training, participants will learn about the different types of harnesses and lanyards, as well as how to select and fit them correctly. They will also be taught about the importance of inspecting the harness and lanyard before use to ensure that they are in good condition and free from
WAH stands for Work At Height, and this type of training is designed to prepare individuals to work safely and efficiently at height, including from a MEWP. During WAH training, participants learn about the hazards associated with working at height, as well as the measures that can be taken to control and mitigate these hazards. This includes topics such as fall prevention and protection, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and emergency procedures.
Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) are classified into several categories based on their design and operation. The classification system allows operators, supervisors, and instructors to identify the specific capabilities and limitations of each type of MEWP, which is important for ensuring safe and effective use.
What are the main categories of MEWPs:
- Vertical Personnel Platforms (VPPs) – These are designed for one or two people to work at height in a vertical direction, with limited horizontal movement.
- Scissor Lifts – These have a platform that can move vertically and extend horizontally, providing access to work at height over a larger area. They are often used for tasks such as installation, maintenance, and repair work.
- Boom Lifts – These have a platform that can move both vertically and horizontally, allowing access to work at height in multiple directions. They come in two main types: Articulating Boom Lifts, which are designed to work in tight or hard-to-reach spaces, and Telescopic Boom Lifts, which provide greater reach for taller structures.
- Trailer-Mounted Lifts – These are mounted on a trailer and are designed to be towed to the work location. They typically have a boom that can be extended and retracted, and may also have a platform that can be tilted or rotated.
- Vehicle-Mounted Lifts – These are mounted on a vehicle and are designed to be driven to the work location. They typically have a boom that can be extended and retracted, and may also have a platform that can be tilted or rotated.
Safe Operations of MEWPS
Each category of MEWP has different characteristics and is designed for different types of work. It is important for MEWP operators, supervisors, and instructors to understand the differences between each category and choose the appropriate type of MEWP for the specific task at hand.
Safe operations of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) are critical to ensuring the safety and well-being of workers who operate and work on them. This includes Equipment Inspection, Risk Assessment, Fall Protection and Stable Ground Conditions
By following these important factors, the safe operations of MEWPs can be ensured, and the risk of accidents or injuries can be minimized. Employers should also ensure that operators are properly trained and certified to operate MEWP’s, and that the equipment is regularly inspected and maintained to ensure it is in good working condition.
A risk assessment is the process of identifying potential hazards and evaluating the risks associated with them. These include: Identify Hazards, Evaluate Risks, Determine Control Measures, Implement Control Measures, Monitor and Review systems. Some additional factors to consider when conducting a risk assessment for MEWPs include the work environment, weather conditions, the experience and training of the operator, and the proximity of other workers or members of the public. By conducting a thorough risk assessment and taking appropriate control measures, the risk of incidents can be significantly reduced, and safe
operations with MEWPs can be ensured.
Spotter training involves a designated person to assist the operator in the safe positioning and movement of the equipment. The spotter’s role is to help the operator navigate the MEWP safely and avoid potential hazards, such as overhead obstacles or other workers on the job site. The primary objective of spotter training is to ensure that the spotter is familiar with the equipment, its capabilities and limitations, and the specific job site conditions. This will enable the spotter to provide clear and concise instructions to the operator on where to move the MEWP, and alert the operator of any potential hazards.
Maintenance is an important part of ensuring the safe and reliable operation of MEWPs. Regular maintenance can help to prevent breakdowns and ensure that the equipment is working safely and effectively. Here are some key aspects of MEWP maintenance:
- Regular Inspection: MEWPs should be inspected regularly, including pre-start inspections and periodic inspections as per manufacturer and regulatory requirements. These inspections should check for any visible damage, wear and tear, or any issues with the controls or safety features.
- Scheduled Maintenance: Regular maintenance should be scheduled in accordance with manufacturer guidelines, including inspections of key components such as the hydraulic system, electrical systems, and structural components. This may include items such as oil changes, filter replacements, and lubrication.
- Record Keeping: Proper record keeping is important to ensure that all maintenance and inspections are carried out in a timely manner. This includes maintaining a log of inspections and repairs, and ensuring that all required documentation is kept up to date
and readily available.
- Repair and Replacement: If any issues or damage are found during an inspection or maintenance check, repairs should be carried out promptly to prevent further damage or unsafe conditions. Replacement of any damaged or worn components should also be carried out as required.
MEWP maintenance is critical to ensuring the safe operation of the equipment, and can also help to extend the life of the equipment and reduce operating costs. Regular inspections and maintenance can help to identify potential issues early and prevent breakdowns, ensuring that the MEWP is ready for safe use when it is needed.
Theory & Practical Assessments
Theory and practical assessments help to ensure that the instructor has the knowledge and skills necessary to teach others to operate MEWPs safely and effectively. Here’s a closer look at these two types of assessments:
- Theory Assessment: A theory assessment involves testing the instructor’s knowledge of MEWP operation, safety guidelines, and regulations. This assessment typically consists of a written exam or a series of multiple choice questions, and covers topics such as pre-start inspections, safe operation, and emergency procedures.
- Practical Assessment: A practical assessment involves testing the instructor’s ability to operate a MEWP safely and effectively. The instructor will be required to demonstrate their ability to carry out pre-start inspections, operate the equipment in a safe and controlled manner, and respond to emergency situations. The practical assessment may also involve demonstrating specific tasks, such as using the platform to access a high point or manoeuvring around obstacles.
The combination of theory and practical assessments ensures that the instructor has a comprehensive understanding of MEWP operation and safety, as well as the ability to teach others effectively. The assessments are typically carried out by a qualified assessor, who will provide feedback to the instructor on areas where they may need further development.
Successful completion of the theory and practical assessments is typically required in order to obtain a MEWP instructor certification. This certification demonstrates that the instructor has met the necessary standards for knowledge and skill, and is able to teach others to operate MEWPs safely and effectively.