Why There Are Wind Speed Ratings on Mobile Elevating Work Platforms
by Scott Owyen - Director of Training On Oct 12, 2017, 03:00 AM
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There are specific hazards associated with operating Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs). Many of these hazards are already identified by the manufacturer and listed in the Operator’s Manual for each model. One of the identified hazards is machine tip-over, and wind speed can be a contributing factor (except for indoor-only rated machines).
All outdoor-rated Genie machines have information in the Operator’s Manual and the decals attached to the machine that state that the MEWP must not be raised when wind speeds may exceed 28 mph (12.5 m/s). The manual states that if wind speeds exceed 28 mph (12.5 m/s) when the MEWP is raised, the operator must lower it and discontinue operation until the wind falls below that speed.
The Genie manual further states that the operator must not operate the machine in strong or gusty winds, or increase the surface area of the platform or the load. Increasing the area exposed to the wind will decrease machine stability so extreme care must be taken when handling glass or wood panels, cladding or other materials that may act as a sail. Operators should only use manufacturer-approved attachments and accessories, and they should always follow the instructions for those attachments for safe use.
These are just a few examples of situations to be aware of; the operator must always use the information in the Operator’s Manual, as well as their best judgment and experience to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them.