Before using a MEWP you must be trained to the applicable MEWP classification and be familiarised on the specific machine. Familiarisation is required on any MEWP that is significantly different in weight, height, length or complexity to the MEWP on which training took place. The operator, supervisor, ground person/rescuer, service engineer and demonstrator all need adequate familiarisation to undertake their duties.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all operators using equipment are adequately trained and familiarised to comply with current health and safety legislation. This should be conducted by a competent or authorised person.
If self-familiarising, make sure that you have adequate experience, time and information to competently assess the task and risks. Safe planning includes familiarisation of the MEWP operator and rescue personnel with the specific MEWP, local site rules and any hazards areas where the MEWP will work and travel; familiarisation on the specific MEWP should follow on from basic training and cover at a minimum:
- Manufacturer’s instructions and warnings;
- Location of the operator manual;
- Visual inspections and pre-use checks;
- Features of the specific model;
- Operating characteristics specific to the particular MEWP;
- Layouts and use of controls (platform, ground and auxiliary);
- Emergency recovery procedures;
- Safety functions and safety devices;
- Operation of secondary guarding (if fitted).
All of the above are to be found in the information supplied with the machine.