In January 2020, the Elevating Work Platform Association (EWPA) published the Good Practice Guide for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPS) – a much needed and anticipated guide to safe work practices for elevating work platforms in Australia.
Prior to the release of this guide many disparate guides and recommendations had been produced across industry, however this approach lacked consistency and there was a general lack of awareness of the available guidance.
The EWPA’s Good Practice Guide now consolidates best practice from across the industry, into a single comprehensive national guide. It is designed to help businesses meet the current Workplace Health and Safety Acts and Regulations in Australia, and ultimately to keep MEWPS operators safe.
“For close to 2 years the EWPA has partnered with industry to produce this vital guide,” says Peter Davis, Coates Hire’s Executive General Manager for Fleet. “There have been a number of fatalities here in Australia during the last decade. We hope that better guidance will improve safety and stop these accidents occurring.”
For the past five years Peter has served as Technical Director of Operations for the EWPA, and he was recently awarded their prestigious Dave Single safety award. Having been actively involved with the EWPA for close to a decade, Peter was part of the very early conversations around the need for this guide. New Zealand’s Elevating Work Platform Association (EWPA) was also instrumental in this push, sharing expertise from it’s own recently published recommendations.
“In what was very much a group effort, the EWPA consulted with over 20 organisations and industry bodies to write these recommendations,” says Peter. “This collaborative approach helped the EWPA to really understand the challenges that operators and rental companies are experiencing, and to make sure the recommendations are practical to follow and consistent with industry best practice.”
As Australia’s largest provider of access equipment and a renowned industry advocate for workplace safety, Coates Hire has brought commitment, resource and considerable experience to the development of this guide.
“Coates Hire is deeply committed to improving the safety of access equipment, and to leading innovation around safety technologies and safe work practices in Australia,” says Peter. “Over the past three years we have committed to installing operator protective guarding on all our entire boom lifts and we are currently investing in similar systems for our scissor lift fleet, says Peter.
“This guide is a welcome step in the right direction,” Peter continues. “We are optimistic that industry will embrace these recommendations and hopeful that we will see a significant improvement in safety.”
The Good Practice Guide will continue to be reviewed and updated over time, and is available for download as a free resource from the EWPA website.