Mobile Elevating Work Platforms Chamber

THE MEWP CHAMBER

The MEWP Chamber of the IWH represents member companies as well as individual practitioners/users involved with Mobile Elevating Work Platforms in South Africa.

MEWPs make up a specific group of specialized machines that enable people to work at height, and include machines such as Boom Lifts (articulating and/or telescopic), Scissor Lifts (both rough terrain as well as slab-machines), Mast Booms, push-around Personnel Lifts, trailer-mounted Boom Lifts and also Truck-Mounted Boom Lifts (or T-MEWPs). These machines are often also called cherry pickers, man-lifts, magic carpets, etc.

MEWPs of all types have the prime purpose of lifting people, tools and equipment to elevated work positions. Due to the application and sometimes misuse of MEWPs, they are not without inherent dangers. Therefore, every single aspect of a MEWP is governed by stringent safety standards and regulations.

In the Law, the most important regulation is section 18 of the Driven Machinery Regulation (DMR 18) with which any supervisor must be thoroughly familiar. This covers some obligatory safety as well as periodic inspection and testing requirements.

Training is a vital issue and DMR 18(11) prohibits the operation of MEWPs by untrained persons. Manufacturers design MEWPs that meet the required standards and provide operational and maintenance instructions, as well as identify the hazards associated with operating or repairing a MEWP.

Most MEWPs are manufactured outside RSA and therefore OHS Act, Section 10, ensures anyone that imports, sells or supplies MEWPs is responsible to ensure that the article is safe and without risks to health when properly used.

The owner (could be a dealer or user) must ensure that the manufacturer’s operating manual is in good condition and stored on the machine, and like a dealer, must maintain the machine according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Whenever an owner directs or authorises a person to use a MEWP, the owner must ensure that the appropriate competency training is given to any operator using the machine.

The operator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

The following 3 SANS or ISO standards apply to the MEWP Industry:

SANS 16368 – Mobile elevating work platforms

Design calculations, safety requirements and test methods

SANS 18878 – Mobile elevating work platforms

Operator (driver) training

SANS 18893 – Mobile elevating work platforms

Safety principles, inspection, maintenance and operation

Related standards (but less relevant) also exist, being:

ISO 16653

Live work

ISO 20381

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For MEWP related enquiries, please email any of the following:

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