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A Guide to Mobile Elevating Work Platforms

If you work in construction, then you’ll know that there are some jobs where using a ladder is simply not practical or safe when it comes to reaching high up areas. Equally, some jobs require access to tight spaces and constructing scaffolding might not be possible or worth the time. This is where mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP) come in, allowing you to reach all areas of the site without putting yourself at risk. If you’ve not come across or used this equipment before, and wonder how it can help, see below for a handy overview.

What is a MEWP?

A mobile elevating work platform is a mobile machine used for working at height, which includes a work platform with controls, an extending structure and chassis (base frame). There is also a metal cage or protective barrier around the platform for safety. MEWP’s come in a range of shapes and sizes, and are known by various alternative names including vertical lift, cherry picker, scissor lift or access platform. They can be extended to various heights, with many reaching 60 metres or more.

How can they be used?

As mentioned, an MEWP is used for working at height and gaining access to parts of a construction site that might not be safe – or possible – to reach with a ladder or scaffolding. They are used in a variety of industries, but predominantly construction and warehousing, and allow workers to bring all their tools or heavy equipment up high with them; something that isn’t possible when using ladders. MEWP’s are also used in the film industry- for filming high level wide shots, views over obstructions and providing high level lighting.

Legal requirements

Anyone operating an MEWP needs to hold an appropriate International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) licence. You also need to check that any equipment used for work at height has been properly inspected and maintained – it should have a safety inspection certificate issued within the past six months.

Health and safety

As with any construction equipment or working at height, all workers using MEWPs should be properly briefed on health and safety measures. Precautions to reduce the risk of accidents include using MEWPs on firm, level ground, making sure the platform is fitted with effective guardrails and using a harness for extra security against falls. Daily visual checks and regular inspections and services are also vital to ensure the machinery is operating efficiently and safely. 

If you need a MEWP for your next job, give Hi Point Access a call. We supply a range of high-quality mobile elevating work platforms for hire, including scissor lifts, low-level access platforms, and more. Safety is our priority, so no matter how high you need to be elevated, or what tools you need, we’ll have the right platform for you. Visit our website today to see how we could help you with your next project.

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