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Safe Work updates warnings on Elevating Work Platforms 

“Incidents involving EWPs have resulted in fatalities and serious injuries,” says Safe Work Australia. The federal work health & safety agency has published a comprehensive new 34-page guide about the risks posed by Elevating Work Platforms (EWPs) that are commonly used in outdoor signage installation. 

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“You should use this guide if you own, hire, lease, handle, store, transport, maintain or use an EWP in the workplace,” Safe Work said. 

“Elevating Work Platforms (EWPs) can pose many serious health and safety risks. This guide provides practical information to persons conducting a business or undertaking and others on how to manage the risks of working with EWPs.”

Known hazards associated with using an EWP include:

  • structural failure, overturning, or collapse 
  • contact or collision of the EWP with people or other plant, powerlines and structures causing injuries and entrapment
  • inadequate ventilation in the area the EWP is used 
  • restricted working space
  • outriggers
  • having different machines with different controls 
  • falling objects, and 
  • working at heights.

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Incidents involving EWPs have resulted in fatalities and serious injuries, Safe Work Australia said.

“The WHS Regulations define certain types of construction work as ‘high risk construction work’. Additional duties apply under the WHS Regulations for these activities. If the work is considered high risk, you must prepare a SWMS prior to work commencing. Some examples of high risk construction work that may involve EWPs include, but are not limited to: 

  • work involving a risk of a person falling more than 2 metres 
  • work carried out in an area where there is any movement of powered mobile plant
  • work carried out on, in or adjacent to a road, railway, shipping lane or other traffic corridor that is in use by traffic other than pedestrians, and 
  • work near energised electrical installations or services

 “Hazards can arise with the reach and height required for the task. The risk may increase as the machine is required to reach further and higher. The type of work being carried out, and any equipment in the platform may also pose hazards. For example, if carrying out work involving sheet metal, wind may be more hazardous due to a ‘sail’ effect destabilising workers and the machine.”

Download the free guide here.