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RR961 - Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) incident analysis

Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) are commonly used across all industrial sectors by a whole variety of trades, including mechanical and electrical contractors, and painters and decorators, as a safe, temporary method of working at height. There is a large range of MEWPs on the market and their controls and functionality varies depending on the category, manufacturer, model and size of machine. As their popularity and range of applications has grown, concerns have emerged about trapping/crushing accidents involving MEWPs.

This report identifies accidents involving MEWPs and analyses common factors found. The work has focused on MEWP occupants being trapped against overhead or adjacent objects whilst in the platform of the MEWP, particularly when the operator becomes trapped over the controls (sustained involuntary operation of control). Typically, this has occurred when the operator has been moving the MEWP within relatively confined areas.

This research has centred on person-machine interface/human factors analysis rather than engineering issues.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2013-02-01