Working at Height Risks | Risk Reduction | Safety Culture

Safe MEWP Working At Height By Roads

There’s a lot more to consider when operating MEWPs by the side of a busy road. So much more that we’ve written a whole article on the topic

Safe MEWP Working At Height By Roads
Laura Hemsley

By Laura Hemsley
On Jun 24, 2021

Read time
3 minutes

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You may not be aware of the specific procedures and guidelines related to safe MEWP working by roads, motorways and highways. It differs from other environments in a number of ways. We’ll explore them in detail, but the topline MEWP street working considerations are:

  1. Having the right equipment for the job.
  2. Ensuring you have trained MEWP & Traffic Management operators
  3. Accounting for the appropriate road markings, bus stop suspensions, lights and pedestrian crossings
  4. Gathering the correct council permits

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each street working element.

The right equipment

Make sure the MEWP you’ll use for the task extends to the right height. It must also be suitable for the road and weather conditions. You’ll need to make sure it can accommodate any loads involved and it’s available for the duration of your project if you are going to hire a MEWP. You’ll also need hi-vis and other PPE available during the project. Equip all vehicles with flashing beacons or chevrons and provide good lighting during the evening and nighttime hours.

In addition, when working on or near the public highway with MEWP equipment (mobile or vehicle mounted) you will need to ensure that there is minimal or zero tailswing from the boom or counter weight section of the machine when slewing the turntable section. This prevents a collision between passing traffic and the equipment.

As usual with any working at height,  you will need to conduct a risk assessment and it is essential that you have a well-considered and thorough rescue plan in place. You must use this in the event of a fall from height. Rescue equipment will need to be ready on-site, and you must provide adequate training in how to use it

Trained MEWP & Traffic Management operators

Your MEWP personnel must be up to date on the latest operation and safety procedures for the working at height category they’ll be using. You’ll also need Traffic Management operators who understand how to implement everything from road closures to temporary traffic lights. You’ll also need them on hand to manage any real-time traffic diversions.

If you need assistance acquiring the right team members for MEWP operation or traffic management; we can help.

Road markings, bus stop suspensions, lights and pedestrian crossings

Depending on the work taking place, you may need to prevent busses from alighting or pedestrians from crossing near the work area. While you’ll use cones and signs to alert the public to changes, proper positioning is important. Remember to allow for large or oversized vehicles to pass by. And always strictly prevent foot traffic from walking under a MEWP platform. If you see a potential hazard, alert the project supervisor. 

Council permits and permission

When you’re rerouting people or traffic, you’ll need permission from the local council. Be sure to request at least 4 to 6 weeks in advance for any type of disruption you anticipate. Carrying out a risk assessment can help you to understand your needs. According to HSA, “ This should identify the most suitable MEWP for the task and the means of transport and delivery.” You’ll need to account for working hours, loading and unloading and dormant periods. In some boroughs, they update their rules regularly so you’ll want to check for any street works permit scheme regulation changes in advance of your application.

With the right training, support, equipment and permits; safe MEWP working by roads is easy. If you’d like some help taking the strain out of organising a street works project; let’s talk

We can help you rent the right equipment for the job and the working height required in time for launch. Also, we can provide MEWP operators, Traffic Management operators, 5-way lights, pedestrian crossings and bus stop suspensions. Plus, we can switch out the existing signals for you. If you’re not looking forward to securing council permits, let us help you with that too.

Download the HLS Working at Height Expert Guide

As part of our commitment to work at height safety this guide is designed to provide guidance and advice on how to minimise risk and ensure compliance. 

DOWNLOAD

HLS WAHG 2020 PREVIEW
Laura Hemsley

By Laura Hemsley
On Jun 24, 2021

Read time
3 minutes

Share this Article

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