11 February 2014
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a new safety alert for a particular type of mobile elevating work platform (MEWP), following an incident in which an operator was killed when the MEWP platform became unstable and overturned.
An MEWP is a mechanical device that provides temporary access for workers, via a movable platform, to an area at a height above ground level. They are commonly referred to as cherry pickers, boom lifts, and work platforms.
The safety alert originated after an incident in which an operator of a Genie Z135/70 MEWP was killed after the platform became unstable and overturned while it was working at or very close to its maximum height.
Initial findings from the HSE’s investigation of the incident have revealed that the operational stability of a Genie Z135/70 MEWP may be compromised by the incorrect measurement of the boom angle sensors.
Therefore, the HSE is warning that in order to minimise the risks of overturn, the machine safety devices and sensors must be configured according to the settings, as prescribed by the manufacturer’s Safety Bulletin 130005 dated 29 July 2013.
This safety notice required the immediate removal of all Z135/70 MEWP’s from service until the listed inspections therein had been performed.
The HSE also recommends confirmatory checks of the calibration before platform elevation.