What was the problem?
Industry statistics showed that a significant number of fatalities, incidents and near misses involved entrapment in boom-type MEWPs.
What did we do?
We worked closely with the Health and Safety Executive, IPAF, hirers and the Strategic Forum for Construction Plant Safety Group to research and develop methods by which MEWP safety could be improved. This work included the introduction of a group procedure for the safe operation of MEWPs on site and the introduction of Best Practice Guidance for MEWPs to avoid trapping and crushing injuries to those in platforms.
It was evident that these measures alone would not solve the problem of entrapment, as booms are required to be manoeuvred close to structures in order to enable the users to undertake their work. We therefore liaised with manufacturers and hirers to trial additional safety devices specifically designed to eliminate or reduce crush type injuries to operators should they find themselves in an entrapment situation during routine operation of the machine.
Following this collaboration a number of devices specifically designed to guard against crush type injuries and raise the alarm in the event of entrapment were made commercially available in the UK and by April 2012.
What was the outcome?
Secondary guarding devices are now implemented on all MEWPs used on Skanska projects. Following our successful implementation, UKCG, now Build UK, implemented the standard for all their members. This has resulted in the risk of entrapment being significantly reduced in the industry as a whole.