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Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) are specifically designed to lift people to a position where they can work at height safely within the platform.
MEWPs are not designed to transfer people from one level to another, or for people to exit the platform at height. People should only enter or exit the work platform at access positions at ground level or on the MEWP chassis.
There are exceptional cases where MEWPs may be used to gain access to or from a work area at height. Exiting the platform should be strictly controlled, and only permitted:
- If after a robust risk assessment, it can be clearly demonstrated that it is the safest and most effective means of accessing a particular location.
- If it is part of a formal emergency rescue plan.
Where a rigorous and robust sitespecific risk assessment carried out by the user* has identified limited circumstances that justify exiting a work platform at height, then a task assessment should examine in detail how fall protection measures are to be maintained for the duration of the task.
A site-specific risk assessment should be undertaken to ensure that all associated hazards and risks have been considered, and relevant control measures have been implemented. Consider the need for:
- Fall prevention methods to be maintained at all times during the transfer;
- An operator to remain in the raised MEWP platform at all times;
- Action to minimise dynamic loads from being exerted on the platform;
- Action to prevent unexpected or inadvertent movement of the platform;
- The use of designated MEWP exit points and not allowing exit or entry of the platform by climbing over the guardrails;
- Supervision by a responsible body to ensure that the identified safe method is adhered to by all personnel involved;
- Possible rescue from any associated structure.
*The user is any person or organisation that has control of the planning, management and use of the MEWP being used for a specific task and is responsible for ensuring the MEWP is kept in a safe working condition. The user is not necessarily the operator.
Further information relating to exiting and entering the platform at height can be found from the following sources, all of which were taken into consideration when drafting this guidance note.
- Manufacturer-specific instructions
- ISO 18893 MEWP safety principles, inspection, maintenance and operation
- BS 8460 Code of Practice for the safe use of MEWPs
- GEIS6 The selection, management and use of mobile elevating work platforms
- AS 2550.10 Cranes, hoists and winches – Safe Use Part 10 MEWPs