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Why use Skyreach Access Solutions?

With over 15 years experience of working within the Work-at-Height industry we have the expertise and knowledge to offer you practical advice and guidance.

We work in partnership with many of the leading access equipment manufacturers and can offer you up-to-the-minute products at competitive prices.

We pride ourselves on being able to offer each of our clients a unique 'Complete Access Support Package' and can supply a number of work-at-height products for use in other areas of your business. In addition to this we can offer full service and training on all of the equipment we provide.

Other product categories that might be of interest;

Full range of push-around, vertical & scissor lifts and cherry pickers - JLG approved dealers
Mobile scaffold towers - Instant Zip-Up approved dealers
Ladder, Steps & Safety Podiums - Zarges approved suppliers
Material Lifts - Genie approved dealers
Safety Harnesses - Ridge Gear approved suppliers
Bespoke access solutions - gantry's, walkways, roof access, mobile work stands

What are the LOLER & PUWER Regulations and how do they apply to me?

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Do I need training on work-at-height equipment?

Council Directive 2009/104/EC concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work OJ L260/5 Article 9 states:

"Without prejudice to Article 12 of Directive 89/391/EEC, the employer shall take the measures necessary to ensure that:

(a) workers given the task of using work equipment receive adequate training, including training on any risks which such use may entail;
(b) workers referred to in the second indent of Article 6(b) receive adequate specific training."

Article 6(b) states: "in the case of repairs, modifications, maintenance or servicing, the workers concerned are specifically designated to carry out such work."

Does a passenger require training to go in a MEWP?

No, only the operator requires a licence. However, the passenger will be required to wear the correct PPE.

Is it acceptable to exit a MEWP when working at height?

Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) are specifically designed to lift people to a position where they can work at height safely within the platform.

MEWPs are not designed to transfer people from one level to another, or for people to exit the platform at height. People should only enter or exit the work platform at access positions at ground level or on the MEWP chassis.

There are exceptional cases where MEWPs may be used to gain access to or from a work area at height. Exiting the platform at height may be permitted:

1. If after a robust risk assessment, it can be clearly demonstrated that it is the safest and most effective means of accessing a particular location.

2. If it is part of a formal emergency rescue plan.

Employers should ensure that exiting the platform at height to access a particular location is addressed in company safety procedures and training programmes, before the procedure is undertaken.

A site-specific risk assessment should be undertaken to ensure that all associated hazards and risks have been considered, and relevant control measures have been implemented. Consider the need for:

1. Fall prevention methods to be maintained at all times during the transfer
2. An operator to remain in the raised MEWP platform at all times
3. Action to minimise dynamic loads  from being exerted on the platform
4. Action to prevent unexpected or inadvertent movement of the platform
5. The use of designated MEWP exit points and not allowing exit or entry of the platform by climbing over the guardrails
6. Supervision by a responsible body to ensure that the identified safe method is adhered to by all personnel involved
7.Possible rescue from any associated structure.

Further information relating to exiting and entering the platform at height can be found from the following sources, all of which were taken into consideration when drafting this guidance note.

Manufacturer-specific instructions
ISO 18893 MEWP safety principles, inspection, maintenance and operation
BS 8460 Code of Practice for the safe use of MEWPs
GEIS6 The selection, management and use of mobile elevating work platforms 
AS 2550.10 Cranes, hoists and winches – Safe Use Part 10 MEWPs

Reference: IPAF E2 UK04/16

Pre-use MEWP checks - why they should be done?

Before the start of every shift or on the first use by an operator the machine should be inspected to ensure that it is structurally safe to use and has no faults, signs of vandalism, damage or wear and tear that could put the operator at risk.

Other critical areas to look for are batteries that have not been charged; low fuel levels and damaged or punctured tyres.

Depending on the machine type, pre-use checks should be straight forward and take around 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Regular pre-use checks will also help to reduce the likelihood of accidents or breakdowns.

As part of your routine MEWP operating procedures do you complete a weekly inspection? Are you aware that you should be doing this? Do you have a pre-use check form?

If you answer ‘no’ to any of the above questions we can help you.

Pre-use check list, as recommended by IPAF

“Before use each day or at the beginning of each shift, the aerial platform shall be given a visual inspection and function test including, but not limited to, the following;

Current in-service inspection
Operating and emergency controls
Safety devices
Personal protective devices
Air, hydraulic and fuel systems
Engine cooling systems, water, engine oil and hydraulic levels
Cables and wiring
Loose or missing parts
Tyres, wheels and breaks
Placards, warnings, control markings and operator manuals
Outriggers, stabilisers and other structures
Guardrail system
Items specified by the manufacturer

How frequently should a MEWP be inspected?

A MEWP should be inspected, and the inspection documented, every morning prior to use.

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998, Regulation 9 states that:

"Every employer shall ensure that lifting equipment which is exposed to conditions causing deterioration which is liable to result in dangerous situations is-"
"Thoroughly examined-"
"In the case of lifting equipment for lifting persons or an accessory for lifting, at least every 6 months."

Is it necessary to wear a harness in a MEWP?

Boom Type Platforms

It is strongly recommended that a full body harness with adjustable lanyard (used to privide work restraint and adjusted to be as short as possible) is used when working from a boom type Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP).

This would include:
Static Booms (1b) and Mobile Booms (3b).

Verticle Lifts

It is not normally necessary for personnel working from a verticle lift to wear fall protection equipment, other than in exceptional circumstances.

This would include:
Static Verticles (1a), Mobile Verticles (3a), Push Around Verticles (PAV) and Mast Climbing Work Platforms (MC).

The need for a fall protection system will be the outcome of a job specific risk assessment undertaken prior to work commencing and taking in to consideration the manufacturer's operator's manual.

Source: IPAF

In what wind speed can a MEWP be used?

All MEWPs (except those designed specifically for indoor use) are designed to operate in wind speeds up to a maximum which should be marked on the machine. Operation in wind speeds above this maximum may cause instability.

Under BS EN280:2001+A2:2009 (Mobile elevating work platforms – Design calculations – Stability criteria – Construction – Safety – Examinations and tests) the maximum design wind speed in which a MEWP can work is 12.5 m/s (28 mph). Wind forces are assumed to act horizontally at the centre of area of the parts of the MEWP and persons and equipment on the work platform, and shall be taken to be dynamic forces. This does not apply to MEWPs intended for indoor use only.

Wind speed can be measured using an anemometer.

It is very important to realise that wind speed increases with height and may be 50% greater at a height of 20 metres above ground level.

Care must be taken when handling building cladding, sheet materials, panels and other such materials which can act as "sails" and seriously affect the stability of a MEWP, especially in gusty wind conditions. For the same reason, signboards and the like must not be applied even temporarily to the platform.

You should be aware of the shielding and funnelling effects of high buildings which may cause high wind speeds on days when the wind speed in open areas is low.

Other sources of local high wind speed to consider are aircraft slipstreams at airports and high-sided vehicles on motorways.

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