Stay safe when working on or near roads with Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs). IPAF’s Street Smart safety campaign highlights key risks and how to avoid them.
Working alongside roadways is high risk, especially without planning and traffic segregation. Accidents where a vehicle collides with an elevated MEWP are catastrophic.
It is essential that the MEWP and personnel are positioned safely and not in the path of traffic.
When working with MEWPs on or near roads, always:
- Plan ahead – Develop and use a traffic management scheme, including setting up the MEWP. Consider the positioning of the MEWP and the ground conditions.
- Be visible – The visibility of personnel on roads is essential when loading or unloading the MEWP or during set-up. Wear hi-vis PPE when positioning cones/signs. Ensure vehicles are conspicuous (e.g. use flashing beacons/rear chevrons). Ensure loading and working areas are well lit.
- Manage traffic – Obtain permission to implement traffic management, such as temporary traffic lights, or to close roads. Use signs and cones for maximum warning to oncoming vehicles.
- Implement an exclusion zone – Segregate the working area of the MEWP from vehicles. Position the MEWP so that it does not overhang into traffic, including configurations when slewed and when elevated. Take into account the height and size of trucks and buses that may pass by. Restrict access to pedestrians so that they cannot walk under the platform.
- Load and unload safely – Do so in a well-lit area, away from traffic or obstructions. Ensure enough space for the loading vehicle to stop safely and for the MEWP to manoeuvre safely. When unloading alongside the road make sure that it is segregated from traffic.