What is a “MEWP”?
MEWP stands for “Mobile Elevating Work Platforms.” These are any machinery or vehicles that are used to lift personnel to elevated areas. The word “mobile” excludes scaffolding from classifying as a MEWP. Machinery classified under the term “MEWP” can be easily relocated to lift personnel to different areas at a worksite.
What machinery is included under the umbrella term “MEWP”?
MEWP is a broad term that includes several different vehicles and heavy machinery. It includes machines such as cherry pickers, articulating boom lifts, and truck mounted aerial lifts.
MEWPs are classified into three different categories. Type 1 MEWPs must only travel when the platform is in a stowed position. Any MEWP that may travel in the elevated position and is controlled from the chassis is a type 2. Type 3 MEWPs, which may be combined with type 2, can travel while elevated and are controlled from the platform.
MEWPs are also broken into Group A and Group B. Group A MEWPs are lifts that raise the platform vertically, and the platform cannot extend beyond the tipping line of the equipment.
Group B MEWPs refer to all other elevating platforms, meaning all of the boom lifts. Those working on Group B MEWPs require additional fall protection than Group A.
People often wonder if the scissor lift classifies as a MEWP. According to OSHA, scissor lifts fall under the same standards for mobile scaffolds, not MEWPs. This is likely because scissor lifts have a much larger work platform than most typical MEWPs.
What should MEWP safety training look like?
While MEWPs are very useful machines, any kind of work at heights comes with serious hazards. MEWP safety training is specifically required by OSHA and should include a walkthrough of the pre-shift inspection, how to maintain stability on the machine, and what the main hazards of MEWPs include. OSHA also requires those who operate MEWPs to receive training on fall protection, which must always be used when personnel are elevated.
Good luck, and stay safe!