Mobile Elevating Work Platforms: Aerial and Scissor Lift Safety

Learning objectives

  • Identify MEWPs, common MEWP hazards, and the responsibilities workers have to operate MEWPs safely
  • Distinguish between different MEWP classifications
  • Recognize how MEWP safety standards apply to different classifications, models, and sizes of MEWPs
  • Outline the risk assessments and inspections used to identify potential hazards prior to operating an MEWP
  • Explain the work practices necessary to operate an MEWP safely

Course overview

Workers often use mobile elevating work platforms, or MEWPs, to perform tasks from an elevated position. such as cleaning, construction, maintenance, inspection, testing, and stock picking. An MEWP consists, at a minimum, of a motorized vehicle component and a lifting component. The lifting component is made up of a work platform and an extending structure.

Examples include a boom lift, also known as a cherry picker, which is a maneuverable vertical boom with a railed platform at the end for raising and lowering workers. Another example is a scissor lift, also known as a mobile scaffold, which is a motorized vehicle with a railed platform that can be raised straight up vertically.

Many workers are injured or killed on MEWPs each year. Common MEWP hazards include falls, falling objects, and tip overs.

MEWPs are divided into group and type classifications based on their engineering design and functionality. These include:

  • Group A: the platform always stays within the tipping line of the lift.
  • Group B: the platform can be positioned beyond the tipping line of the lift
  • Type 1: can only travel with its platform in the stowed position.
  • Type 2: the operator can control travel, with the work platform in an elevated position, from a point on the chassis
  • Type 3: the operator can control travel from the work platform, with the work platform in the elevated position

Employees need to know the safe operating practices and apply those practices to the specific MEWP they will be operating.

Employees must also conduct a risk assessment as part of their daily pre-task planning to identify any hazards related to their work site or task, such as unstable surfaces, obstructions, hazardous weather or environments.

Both the operator and MEWP owner (often the employer) are responsible for completing specific inspections prior to operation.

Operators are response to know and follow the safe work practices to operate an MEWP when carrying materials, moving or traveling, and controlling the platform.

  • 25 minutes
  • Format: Online Interactive
  • English , Spanish
Course Outline
  • MEWP Overview
  • Types of MEWPs
  • Pre-Assessments and Inspections
  • Safe Operation
  • 29 CFR 1910.67 - Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Work Platforms
  • 29 CFR 1910.333 - Selection and Use of Work Practices
  • 29 CFR 1910.502 - Fall Protection
  • 29 CFR 1926.269(g)(2) - Fall Protection
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