February 11, 2014

Emergency safety announcement – Dangerous work platforms

An emergency safety alert has been issued after a mobile elevating work platform overturned at its maximum height, killing the operator.

Emerging findings from Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigations have found that there may be a serious fault with ‘Genie Z135/70 Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP)’ owing to incorrect measurements.

Owners and users of this type of platform are being warned to minimise the risk of them overturning by configuring the machine safety devices and sensors as per the manufacturer’s Safety Bulletin 130005 (dated 29th July 2013).

The HSE recommends thorough checks of the calibration before evalvating the platform.

What’s the problem?

To prevent the Z135/70 model from becoming unstable, the onboard control system monitors its elevation until it reaches the correct position – 75.5° or above. The control system needs each boom to be stable in order to work properly.

Genie, the manufacturer, issued a Safety Notice on 29th July 2013, in order removal of all Z135/70 MEWP’s from service until they have all been inspected.

What should I do?

If you use an MEWP, it’s vital that you follow the manufacturer’s safety notice. Any machines that require calibration checks which have not been carried out should be removed from service. After carrying out your initial checks, you need to continuously inspect them, service them and ensure you are keeping to the manufacturer’s requirements.

The safety notice instructions should be carried out along with the recommendations in the machine service manual.

Before the operator checks the platform control (as part of the recommended checks) the angle sensors should be confirmed from ground level using an inclinometer – and use test weights where appropriate.

For access to expert advice on health & safety for your business, call us on 0845 184 4615

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