Skanska takes industry leading step to improve MEWP safety

Press release 09/11/2011 09:00 CET

As part of its commitment to creating an injury free environment, Skanska has today announced that it is taking an industry leading step and launching a new policy relating to the boom-type mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPS) it will allow on its UK sites.

Over recent months, Skanska has been working closely with manufacturers and suppliers and trialling safety devices specifically designed to guard against crush type injuries to operators and raise the alarm in the event an operator encounters an entrapment situation.

A number of safety devices are now, or will shortly become commercially available in the UK. Therefore Skanska will, as from January 3rd 2012, require all boom-type MEWPs (IPAF Category 3b) that are hired by the company to have additional crush protection fitted.

Skanska will also require these extra safety features to be in place on all MEWPs provided by Skanska’s supply chain as of April 2nd 2012.
Background to Skanska’s policy change:-

  • Industry statistics show that between 2003 and the summer of 2009 13 people lost their lives in the UK whilst using powered access, at least six of which involved the elevated trapping of the operator in boom type MEWPs (IPAF Category 3b).
  • Across industry, there have also been other serious accidents and near misses which could have resulted in the loss of life.
  • In 2008, a fatality involving a MEWP tragically occurred on a Skanska UK site. Following this accident, Skanska has been working closely with the Health & Safety Executive, International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), manufacturers, plant and equipment suppliers, and the Construction Plant Association (CPA) to research and develop methods by which MEWP safety can be improved.
  • Following this work, the CPA introduced Best Practice Guidance for MEWPs – Avoiding Trapping / Crushing Injuries to People in the Platform.
  • In addition to the measures detailed in the CPA guidance, Skanska believes their policy is required to protect MEWP operators.

Commenting, Dylan Roberts, Director of Health & Safety for Skanska UK said: “The safety of those who work with Skanska is a number one priority for us. Following the tragedy in 2008, we felt it imperative to make a step change in the training and competence of users of MEWPs and the introduction of additional safety measures. I am very pleased that we have finally been able to take this step. We encourage the UK construction industry to follow suit.”