The circulation of factually incorrect, misleading or poorly written information contained in a safety alert can and does repeatedly cause unnecessary confusion within the industry. Once issued the author loses control of the document, as it is passed from company to company around the world, often being re-issued or rebranded with a different company letter head and frequently reappearing years after it was first issued.
In some cases, the misinformation can have the opposite effect to that intended by the author. It may negatively affect confidence with a specific machine or manufacturer, which may ultimately compromise safety in the workplace. It is vitally important to prevent such situations in order to maintain the highest levels of safety and eliminate the unnecessary time and resource wasted trying to address outdated or unfounded concerns.
This MEWP safety alert protocol has been developed by the Strategic Forum MEWP Safety Group to help prevent such situations. The intention is to provide clear, concise guidance and a template to those considering issuing a safety alert, following a MEWP related incident, as well as those considering forwarding a safety alert they have received to others. Whilst this protocol is primarily written for those considering issuing safety alerts to third parties, organisations may also want to consider its use for internal purposes.
The definition and intended purpose of a MEWP safety alert is:
A communication distributed, following an incident, to share known facts and learning, during or following an investigation - where others may benefit from distribution of the learning experience.