Article on Access International by Maria Hadlow on 17 Sep 2009
A review of work at height procedures up to 4.5 m for mechanical and electrical installation carried out by Crown House Technologies (part of the Laing O'Rourke Group) has found push around, powered access equipment to be far more time efficient than traditional solutions such as scaffold towers and podium steps.
Gerry Mulholland, health and safety leader at Crown House said, "Following our study we were able to provide evidence that MEWPs (mobile elevated work platforms) are safer, more productive, ergonomic and avoid unnecessary strain injury. MEWPs are also easier for site management to maintain the appropriate safe standards on site as there are fewer options offered, therefore, fewer opportunities to make the wrong choice; their automation reduces accidents caused by human error. General site opinion from our workforce is that MEWPs get the job done."
Falls from height are the primary cause of serious injury in the construction industry. CHt's detailed review found that just under a fifth of all accidents on site are related to access equipment. A small proportion of these are caused by MEWPs (19%), compared with podiums, mobile towers, ladders and A-frames.