Do I need to have a tachograph in a vehicle mounted MEWP?

The European law relating to the fitting and use of tachographs to record drivers' hours of work is contained in EC Council Regulation 3821/85.

All vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes maximum permissible weight coming within the scope of EC Council Regulation 3820/85 used for carrying goods (including the weight of any trailer drawn) must be fitted with an EC approved tachograph to record not only the driver's hours but, if a second driver is carried, his working periods also.

Exception to this rule:
A vehicle carrying goods, having a permissible maximum weight, not exceeding 7.5 tonnes and carrying material or equipment for the driver's use in the course of his work, within a 50 kilometre radius of the place where the vehicle is normally based and provided driving the vehicle is not the driver's main activity. This requirement also applies to journeys made to or through AETR member countries.

See: http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/repository/Quick%20guide%20to%20towing%20small%20trailers.pdf

In what wind speed can a MEWP work?

All MEWPs (except those designed specifically for indoor use) are designed to operate in wind speeds up to a maximum which should be marked on the machine. Operation in wind speeds above this maximum may cause instability.

Under BS EN280:2001+A2:2009 (Mobile elevating work platforms – Design calculations – Stability criteria – Construction – Safety – Examinations and tests) the maximum design wind speed in which a MEWP can work is 12.5 m/s (28 mph). Wind forces are assumed to act horizontally at the centre of area of the parts of the MEWP and persons and equipment on the work platform, and shall be taken to be dynamic forces. This does not apply to MEWPs intended for indoor use only.

Wind speed can be measured using an anemometer.

It is very important to realise that wind speed increases with height and may be 50% greater at a height of 20 metres above ground level.

Care must be taken when handling building cladding, sheet materials, panels and other such materials which can act as "sails" and seriously affect the stability of a MEWP, especially in gusty wind conditions. For the same reason, signboards and the like must not be applied even temporarily to the platform.

You should be aware of the shielding and funnelling effects of high buildings which may cause high wind speeds on days when the wind speed in open areas is low.

Other sources of local high wind speed to consider are aircraft slipstreams at airports and high-sided vehicles on motorways.

Is it legal to work alone and is it safe?

Employers have responsibility for the health, safety and welfare at work of all of their employees. It is the employer’s duty to assess risks to lone workers and take steps to avoid or control risks where necessary.

Please refer to the HSE guidance paper - Working Alone in Safety: Controlling the risks of solitary work: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg73.pdf

Who is responsible for ground conditions?

It varies from job to job - check. 
Invariably the party paying for the MEWP will be responsible - so check the ground conditions. 
Assuming otherwise could be expensive if not accounted for in the quote.

Does a passenger in a MEWP require a licence before they can go in a MEWP?

No, only the operator requires a licence. However, the passenger will be required to wear the correct PPE.

Is it acceptable when in the platform of a MEWP to stand on a guard rail?

No.

Is it appropriate to exit the MEWP platform when working at height?

No, unless a rigorous risk assessment carried out as part of planning the job indicates that this is the safest and most effective means of accessing a particular location, taking into account the availability on site of other more suitable access equipment and the practicability of providing the same within the required timescales for the task to be carried out.

See IPAF's technical guidance E2 on exiting the platform at height and this extract from BS 8460 (the British Standard on “Safe use of MEWPs – Code of practice”) on the subject.

Do I have to wear a harness or life jacket when working over water in a MEWP?

Working next to or over water must be assessed to identify whether the greatest risk of injury to the operator is from falling from the MEWP basket or drowning if the MEWP falls into the water.  The decision can then be made as to whether it is most appropriate to wear a harness to address the fall risk or whether a harness should not be worn due to the risk of drowning. Life jackets, not harnesses, should be worn where there is a risk of drowning.

Can you have a shock absorbing pack in a restraint lanyard?

Yes – if it is adjustable and used correctly as a restraint device (adjusted to be as short as possible), the lanyard will not be able to gain sufficient force/momentum to deploy the shock absorbing pack, thereby acting as a restraint lanyard.

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