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IPAF release MEWP fatal accident statistics

Fatal accident statistics

New accident database reports 31 fatalities involving aerial work platforms worldwide in 2012

THERE were 31 fatalities worldwide involving mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), also known as aerial work platforms (AWPs), in 2012, according to the preliminary results of the International Powered Access Federation’s accident database. 

The main causes of these fatalities were: fall from platform (9), electrocution (8), overturn (6), entrapment (4) and mechanical/technical related (4).


As the accompanying graph shows, 16 of the reported fatalities involved booms (3b), while 11 involved vehicle mounts (1b) and four involved scissor lifts (3a). 

About two-thirds of the fatalities (20) occurred in the US, the largest single market for powered access equipment in the world.

Three fatalities were reported in the Netherlands, two in the UK, and one each in Australia, Austria, Canada, Singapore, Spain and Switzerland. 

The data presented is based on accidents reported directly to IPAF and through information collated from various news media.

‘The first year of the accident reporting project is producing significant results and is allowing us to both improve our training programmes and focus our safety campaigns to make this safe industry even safer,’ said IPAF chief executive officer Tim Whiteman.

‘There are more than 1.5 million MEWPs/AWPs in use around the world, and while every death is a tragedy, powered access is still a very safe way to work at height.’ 

IPAF launched its accident reporting project in January 2012 with the aim of building up a comprehensive record of known accidents, in one location and in one common format.

The data gathered will allow IPAF to analyze and look for common trends, and propose possible actions to further improve and promote the safe use of powered access worldwide.

‘The accident database has been enhanced with new functions,’ said IPAF technical officer Chris Wraith. ‘A dashboard facility has been added which allows companies who report monthly to track and monitor accidents related to their staff, and from 2013, accident data will also be collected on mast-climbing work platforms (MCWPs).’

IPAF rental company members in the UK have voluntarily committed to report any known MEWP accidents involving their staff at the IPAF accident database.

All manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and users are encouraged to report any known fatal and serious accidents involving MEWPs and MCWPs worldwide at:


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