18 Dec 2014

Equipment Inspections: Is your MEWP fit for purpose?

Just as a car requires regular maintenance and inspection, so does a MEWP – these are the basic inspections that will keep your equipment in good working order and safe to use.



Well-maintained mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) provide one of the safest means of access to perform temporary work at height. It is vital to keep this equipment in good working order. This requires a planned maintenance and inspection regime, which includes:

• Pre-use checks;
• Interim inspections;
• Statutory thorough examinations;
• In specific cases a major inspection.


Pre-use inspections

The first measure is to do a visual inspection of the MEWP – a walk-around check. Starting at the set point, and walking slowly around the machine, check all the base, superstructure and platform. Look our for: unsecure pins/retainers, which may work loose; obvious cracks or damage to the structure, oil leeks, loose and damaged electric cables/wiring. Check the safety notices (decals). Make sure the operating manual is on-board and check the machine is free from site debris and loose equipment.

Now do a function check of all controls. Check the ground controls and emergency/auxiliary functions before going up in the machine. You need to make sure the platform entry gate/bar closes properly and is secure. Check that switches/levers move freely and do not stick. Check that outreach limiters and slope sensors are working. Refer to the operator’s manual to see all the pre-use checks the manufacturer requires.

Only trained and competent operators/inspectors should be allowed to operate a MEWP. Never use the MEWP as a jack, prop or tie to support other structures or machines. Never attempt to climb the lattices formed by scissor lift, await recovery in the event of a break-down. For information specific to your MEWP refer to your manufacturer’s manual.

Inspections

UK legislation (Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulation 1992 and Work at Height Regulations 2005) requires PFPE to be kept in good repair and inspected at suitable intervals dependent on use and exposure to contamination.

Such an inspection regime should include: pre-use checks, detailed inspections (dependent on use but at least every six months in accordance with BS 8437:2005 + A1:2012 Code of practice for selection, use and maintenance of personal fall protection systems and equipment for use in the workplace and, where appropriate, interim inspections. Further information about harness and lanyard inspection can be found in HSE guidance INDG367 Inspecting fall arrest equipment made from webbing or rope.

Due to the flexibility of the Good to Go Safety checklists, they allow a competent person to specify the frequency of their checks – whether this be a daily/weekly/monthly check, a 7-day check or after alterations/periods of severe weather. Indeed some equipment may only come out of storage once in a blue moon, at which point a pre-use check can be carried out.

So whether it be a Harness or a MEWP you will follow a step-by-step walk-around to check safety critical components before placing the completed checklist inside a tag on the equipment for everyone to see the findings and current status.

Each completed checklist is created in duplicate to ensure that findings are not only displayed on the equipment but that a record is retained as part of your Safe Equipment Management System (SEMS) which can prove invaluable in the event of an accident investigation. By having evidence of completed equipment checks, documented dates, signatures and findings it shows that you have taken appropriate steps to minimise the potential for equipment failure. More importantly, it might help save someone’s life in the process.

Visit www.goodtogosafety.co.uk for your safe equipment management systems.

Referenced from IPAF Magazine <-- Full article available here.

1 comment:

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