8 MEWP Safety Tips for Facility Managers and Workers
Scott Owyen - Director of Training
Jan 3, 2023, 15:00 PM
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For every facility manager I’ve ever met — whether they’re at a warehouse, school, data center or office building — safety is their top priority. Safety is, and always has been, the most important priority for Genie as well. That’s why we are laser-focused on providing safe, productive mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and robust training programs.
Once equipment is in the field, operators must follow the prescribed operating practices outlined in the manufacturer’s operator’s manual to keep the equipment working safely and productively.
All employees should complete the proper general and hands-on training with a qualified trainer on the specific equipment they will be operating. This includes thoroughly reading the operator’s manual and safety signs on the machine, as well as understanding the function and location of all safety devices and controls before operation.
2. Inspect Equipment and the Work Zone
Perform a pre-operation inspection and function tests on the equipment before each shift. If the machine fails any of these, make sure it is immediately tagged and removed from service until it can be repaired by a qualified service technician. Never use damaged or malfunctioning aerial equipment.
You should also perform a workplace risk assessment prior to moving a machine to the jobsite. Look for hazardous situations like drop-offs, holes, slopes, slippery or unstable surfaces, overhead obstacles, high-voltage power sources and any other hazards that may exist and develop a plan to eliminate or avoid them.
3. Emphasize Communication
Communicate hazards to other personnel. Never assume that a coworker is aware of the risks involved in a task, particularly if they are inexperienced or new to the task. Whenever possible, have operators keep a cell phone or two-way radio with them in the lift platform and always have a rescue plan in place in case the secondary lowering system malfunctions.
4. Wear the Proper Personal Protection Equipment
When required, wear the proper fall protection and always connect it to the designated anchor points. A properly fitted full-body harness and appropriate lanyard or self-retracting lifeline will reduce the potential for an operator to fall from the platform of a lift. Other PPE such as a safety vest, steel-toed boots and a hardhat should be selected based on the conditions in your facility.
5. Keep the Platform Clear of Debris
Scrap materials, buckets, large toolboxes and other items can cause a serious tripping hazard. You should remove any item from the platform that is not absolutely necessary to do your work. Avoiding clutter also creates a more efficient workspace and inspires confidence that your operation is organized and professional.
6. Only Elevate on a Firm, Level Surface
If the tilt alarm sounds, it means you need to move to a level surface before elevating the platform. If you are already elevated when the alarm sounds, immediately lower the platform and move to a firm, level area.
7. Do Not Sit, Stand or Climb on the Platform Guardrails
Operators should always maintain a firm footing on the platform floor. If an operator is required to reach an overhead work area that is too small for the platform guardrails to allow access to, determine if the selected work platform is the right one for the job.
Alternatively, the use of a manufacturer-approved device specifically designed to provide additional access to confined spaces is recommended.
8. Do Not Exit an Elevated Platform Without Proper Training and Authorization
Always maintain 100% tie-off and get an approval letter from the manufacturer that provides the proper guidance. Do not climb down from the platform when it is raised.
Be sure you and your employees follow these safety tips when using mobile elevating work platforms. If you have additional questions or would like to learn about Genie® safety training programs, visit our aerial equipment training page.