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IPAF releases MEWP-related accident data

IPAF injury data

Fatal injury rate remains constant in 2015 while fleet size and utilization rate increase

THE fatal injury rate for mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) has remained constant, even though the total MEWP rental fleet and the number of rental days worldwide have increased, according to the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF).

The release of IPAF’s 2015 MEWP-related accident data and its preliminary fatal injury rate calculations confirm that MEWPs are one of the safest ways to perform temporary work at height.

For 2015, the number of days a rented machine was operated per year was 192.2 million and the number of reported MEWP fatalities was 68, giving a fatal injury rate of 0.035. Of the 68 reported MEWP fatalities for 2015, the main causes were overturn, falls from height, electrocution and entrapment.

In 2014, the number of days a rented machine was operated per year was 182.4 million and the number of reported MEWP fatalities was 64, giving a fatal injury rate of 0.035.

In 2013, the number of days a rented machine was operated per year was 168.4 million and the number of reported MEWP fatalities was 68, giving a fatal injury rate of 0.040.

The accident data from 2013 to 2015 show that the main causes of MEWP-related fatalities were: falls from height (31%), overturn (27%), electrocution (15%) and entrapment (15%).

The MEWP fatal injury rate, as calculated by IPAF, takes into account the following factors: estimated rental fleet size, based on the IPAF Powered Access Rental Market Reports; estimated average utilization rates per country and worldwide (utilization rate is defined as the share of the fleet out on rent at any time over a year); average days worked per year (five days a week for 50 weeks a year); and the number of fatalities involving MEWPs in a given year, based on the IPAF accident reporting project.

Presenting the research at the IPAF Summit in Madrid, Chris Wraith, IPAF’s technical and safety executive, noted that international accident data is presented in different formats, which sometimes makes it difficult to draw useful comparisons.

He said: ‘MEWPs are part of the solution in preventing falls from height, but we should recognize that MEWPs introduce hazards that need managing. Engineering control is but one option, and the industry is starting to work together on a global scale to ensure continual improvement.’

IPAF’s accident reporting project, launched in 2012, is gradually creating a comprehensive record of known accidents. The accident data gathered allow IPAF to improve the content of training programmes, to develop technical guidance, to target specific high-risk professions or activities, and to provide research findings used to influence standards.

To help make the powered access industry even safer than it is today, IPAF encourages all manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and users to report any known accidents (not just fatal and serious accidents) involving MEWPs and MCWPs (mast climbing work platforms) worldwide at: www.ipaf.org/accident

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