Mobile Elevated Work Platform
Full day course (8 hours) intended for workers using Powered Mobile Equipment in the Petroleum Industry. Includes Alberta legislation, and Valid for 3 years.
- Identification of components and features
- Overview of stability requirements
- Practical exercise involving competency checks with an EWP
- Capable of reading, writing and understanding English
- Physically capable of operating an EWP
- Coveralls, CSA approved safety boots, gloves
- Pass written exam with a min score of 80%
To repair damaged water pipeline at a dangerous height requires use of elevated work platform (EWP). EWP is the work platform that can be elevated to certain height to work at overhead locations. EWP includes all types of aerial devices. Most of these aerial devices are powered by hydraulics. (THOMPSONRIVERSUNIVERSITY)
As per Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHAS), it is the employer responsibility to ensure its employee is working under safe conditions and all required safety equipment like Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) are provided. Similarly, OSHAS also enforce on employee to identify unsafe conditions and unsafe acts so that hazards and risks associated with them can be reduced. Employee also must ensure wearing of the PPEs and other safety instructions provided by employer. (Elevating work platforms)
2 TYPES AND USES OF EWP’S
EWPs are mostly used in constructional activities, industrial warehouses, firefighting activities and lifting of materials. Most commonly used EWPs are Scissor Lift, Articulated boom lift, Telescopic boom lift, Vertical mass lift, Truck Mounted, Self-propelled boom lift and Trailer mounted. These EWPs are moveable and hence termed as Moveable Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs). Scaffolding is also consider as EWP as it assist worker to work at elevation. As scaffolding usually is fixed to a location or unmovable so it is termed as Stationary Elevated Work Platform (SEWP). Worker working or using these EWPs are called Person conducting business or undertaking (PCBU). These EWP has made the work tremendously easier at inappropriate heights but risks are also associated with their use. Risk assessment (RA), Job Safety Analysis (JSA) and other safety precautions must be ensured while using these EWPs. (Elevating work platforms)
2.1 Scissor Lift
This EWP is having scissor like shaped that’s why it is named as scissor lift. Scissor lift are of three types depending upon the surface on which they are being used. Mostly, scissor lifts are used for interior work which includes ceiling construction, signboards hanging, warehouse management etc. Scissor lifts are suitable to 20 to 50 feet height. Top manufacturers of scissor lift worldwide are JLG, Skyjack and Genie. (Forestell, 2021)
Figure 2: Scissor-type EWP for operating on a flat or solid surface
Figure 3: Scissor-type EWP for operating on rough terrain
Figure 1: Scissor-type EWP for operating on inclined surface
2.2 Articulated boom lift
Articulated boom lift is one of the type of boom lift used to lift materials and machinery. It is also known as knuckle lift. This boom lift is mounted to a turnable that can rotate to 360 degrees. Articulate boom lift can provide support to work at the height over 100 feet. These lifts are commonly used for repairing of pipes, cables, and electrical works, cleaning of exteriors and in maintenance work. (DWIGHTCRANE)
Figure 4: Articulated boom lift
2.3 Telescopic boom lift
Also known as stick boom lift provides 360 degree rotation similar to articulated boom lift. However, it provides the greatest horizontal reach as compared to the other types of boom lift. Telescopic boom lift provides greater height than articulate boom lift. Telescopic boom lift’s bucket is capable of lifting one work at a time. (DWIGHTCRANE)
Figure 5: Telescopic boom lift
2.4 Vertical mass lift
These lifts can move only vertically and mainly used on flat solid surfaces. These lifts can be mechanically or manually operated.
Figure 6: Vertical mass lift
2.5 Truck Mounted
These lifts are mounted on trucks and can easily be move as compared other aerial lifts. These lifts are mostly used in electrical industries. Truck mounted lifts are also known as bucket truck and cherry picker.
Figure 7: Truck mounted lift
2.6 Trailer mounted
Trailer Mounted Boom Lifts are used for changing light bulbs, trimming of trees, decorating interiors and exteriors, construction or maintenance tasks. Auto-levelling hydraulic outriggers of Trailer mounted boom lifts make them safer as compare to other lifter types.
3 SAFETY TIPS FOR EWP’S
3.1 Training of Staff
Figure 8: Trailer mounted
To use EWPs safely, operators and all other staffs involved in use of EWPs must be provided trainings. Once operator is well trained, license card should be issued without such license card, operators should not allowed to operator EWPs. Trainings material should at least include:
- Selection of EWP
- Hazards and risk associated with EWPs
- Use of harness
- Use of PPEs
- Emergency response plan
- Legal requirements in regard of safely use of EWPs
- EWP manual
- Moving and positioning of EWP
- Reporting incidents, accidents and near misses
Operator’s competence on these trainings and safe use of EWPs should be evaluated frequently.
3.2 Selection of Appropriate EWP
Selection of EWP should be done via an assessment which must include application of EWP, site infrastructure and conditions, operators training and competency on that EWP, controls of the identified hazards etc.
3.3 Assessment of Site Area
Before starting work using EWP appended hazards must be check on job site and must be controlled:
- Ditches and holes near the job site
- Overhead obstruction like electric wires
- Weather condition
- Moving vehicles
- Cordon off the area of premises of EWP
3.4 Maintenance of EWP
A maintenance checklist and SOP should be established prior to the use of EWP. Maintenance checklist should be established keeping in view the instructions provided by manufacturer in manual and best practices.
3.5 Risk Assessment
Risk assessment and job safety analysis must be done by competent person and all of the stakeholders must participate in risk assessment activity. Residual risk must be calculated after implementing of safety measurements as per hierarchy of controls (remove the hazard, substitute, engineering control, administrative control and PPEs) prior to the use of EWP.
Common hazards associated to use of EWPs are:
Crush risk: Risk of crush to operators or passenger while using EWP.
Basket stability: Basket of the EWP may move unexpectedly due to uneven ground or lack of operator’s familiarity with the EWP.
Obstacles: Obstacles may be present in are of working of EWP which can cause severe safety accidents.
3.6 Safety Inspection
Safety team must be present on the working site to ensure that all safety and precautionary measurements are taken and local and international legislations/requirements related to EWPs are implemented. Daily inspections and frequent internal and external audits related to health and safety must be done.
3.7 Record Keeping
Records related to incidents, accidents and near misses must be maintained and preventive actions plan must be taken to avoid recurrence of such incidents.
4 TYPICAL INCIDENTS RELATED TO EWP’S
Incidents related to EWP may leads from minor injury to loss of a life. Most of the incidents while using EWPs are relating to crushing of operators or passengers. In Australia, over the period of 8 years from June 2003 to June 2011, 232 workers were died during EWP activities. 37% of the fatalities happened while using EWP is related to construction industries. (WOR)
Some of the incidents happened during the operations of EWPs are given below:
1- 22 year old worker was killed while using EWP on construction site. As per the initial investigations, EWP basket was hit with steel support beam which caused lifting of the EWP wheel off the ground and worker got crushed between top rail of EWP basket and steel beam. (Worksafe)
2- In Australia a worker died during working on EWP. As per the investigation, deceased worker was loading EWP on the truck when EWP’s bucket got hit by a nearby passing
vehicle resulting ejection of EWP operator from the basket and sustained serious head injuries leading to death. (worksafevictoria)
3- Worker while working on EWP got crushed when he got trapped between the basket of EWP and an overhead beam. (EWP)
4- 28 years old worker named Joshua Martin died using an elevated work platform (EWP). He got fatally injured when he got crushed against the roof of the cross-cut where he was working. (Minesafety)
5- Man died in August 2021 while acting as dogger during EWP operations. As per the investigation, worker was walking between the front of the mobile crane and the hanging load when he got hit by the crane and died on the spot. (worksafe)
6- An operator working on EWP lost his consciousness when his head got stuck between the stacker frame and the secondary guarding sensor bar in the basket. Alarm mounted at the base of the EWP alerted the spotter who immediately lower the basket. But till time operator had received injuries which led him to lost his consciousness for a few minutes. After incident investigation, it was revealed that job safety analysis did not point out the hazard being crushed by the stacker frame. (AustralasianMinesafety)
Though elevated work platform has provided ease to work in inaccessible areas, there use has caused numbers of fatalities throughout the world. These EWPs should be used with proper safety and precautionary measurements so that the fatalities and causalities can be reduced.