By Mick Backhouse, IPAF Instructor
There’s no quick fix when it comes to MEWP safety – and you certainly shouldn’t be skipping steps to get the job done faster. Pre-use inspections are often overlooked the more confident you become as an operator but they’re vital to ensure that your MEWP is secure, complete, clean, and working properly. In fact, you should always inspect the entire machine before and after use. That way, you’ll always put MEWP safety first.
As part of PUWER (1998), it’s your legal responsibility to make sure that the MEWP you’re using is in ‘good working order, maintained and repaired’ with regular inspections to ensure the machine is safe to operate.
Your responsibilities for work at height are vital for MEWP safety, but what does a pre-use inspection actually involve?
Overall, you need to be getting a good look at the power source, all working parts, the structure and the vehicle mounting (if your MEWP includes one).
For this, the manufacturer’s manual should be your first point of call. There can be subtle variances between similar machines, so don’t rely on your experience – no matter how good! That way, you’re always working to the model specification.
If you come across any faults or defects during your inspection, then make sure to report them immediately to a supervisor. If in doubt, never take risks when using MEWPs.
That way, you can make sure your machine is in full working order before getting started so you’re always putting MEWP safety first for you and those around you.