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IPAF welcomes updates to British Standards

Federation says updates will make positive contribution to safe operation of MEWPs and MCWPs

THE International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has welcomed the introduction of updated British standards regarding the safe use of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and mast-climbing work platforms (MCWPs). The new British Standards (BS) 8460 and 7981 supersede the 2005 and 2002 versions respectively, which have been withdrawn.

Some of the main changes to BS 8460 include enhanced guidance on risk management, loading and unloading machines, understanding new safety features and fall prevention during maintenance to machines. There is additional guidance on warning symbols and annexes in the standard on self-familiarization and rescue plans.

The new MEWP standard also takes into account BS EN 280, which specifies design calculations, construction standards, stability criteria, safety, examination and testing requirements, and was drawn up with the participation of HSE representatives and based on feedback from IPAF and its members.

Rupert Douglas-Jones (pictured), technical and safety officer at IPAF, commented: ‘It became apparent to IPAF and its members that the existing BS 8460 and BS 7981 hadn’t been updated for well over a decade and, as a result, the changing nature of the industry and the technical and safety guidance had somewhat overtaken the published standard.

‘Following extensive feedback and consultation we are pleased that important considerations such as risk management, loading and unloading, modern MEWP safety measures, decals and warning stickers, familiarization and rescue plans have all been included in the new standard for MEWPs.

‘The MCWP version also covers risk assessments, rescue plans and familiarization, and includes example inspection, maintenance, and thorough examination checklists, and a simplification of the terms and responsibilities relating to MCWP operations. Of particular significance in the MCWP standard is the table outlining specific training requirements.’

Tim Whiteman, chief executive officer of IPAF, added: ‘IPAF is delighted to see the launch of these new British standards, which every rental company and contractor should now review. These latest versions will make a positive contribution to safe operation and ensure MEWPs and MCWPs remain the safest ways of conducting temporary work at height.’

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