• Safe use of MEWPs


    The new BS 8460:2017 Code of Practice for the Safe use of MEWPs which was released by BSI in October 2017

    Here we take you through the main changes highlighting key areas which if you are involved with MEWPs as a MEWP hirer, user or manager should be aware of.


    What is a Code of Practice (CoP) and how could it affect you?

    So firstly it’s worth noting that a CoP is not law. It is essentially a set of written rules which explain how people working in a particular profession should behave. But before you stop reading, be mindful that the BS 8460:2017 CoP was written and revised by a team of industry experts and within that group was a leading member of the UK’s HSE (Health & Safety Executive). So if, for example, you have serious incidents with MEWPs on your site or location, you can rest assure that the Police and HSE could use the contents of the code, or part of it, to potentially build a prosecution case against you.


    Why has it changed?

    The original document was published in 2005 and those who have read and used it would agree that it was a worthwhile document to enable them to prepare and plan MEWP operations. However, MEWPs have changed in design and technology quite considerably and there has also been considerable new industry guidance.


    What is covered?

    The new BS 8460:2017 CoP builds on the original 2005 standard and also takesinto account changes in legislation and changes to MEWP design requirementsoutlined in BS EN 280.Since the original CoP was drafted in 2005 there has been a myriad of guidancedocuments produced by various groups and committees. It is worth noting thatsome of these have been referenced, and in some cases signposted, to theoriginal document.The new code has now introduced definitions for ‘user’, ‘primary guarding’,‘secondary guarding’ and deck-riding machines. It also includes recommendationsfor the selection, renting, positioning, maintenance and thorough examination of aerial work platforms. But more importantly, it provides recommendations fortheir safe use, including the selection and training of operators and othercompetent personnel, and also gives an example of a rescue plan.


    Why should you use this standard?

    Working at height needs to be taken very seriously because falls are still among the most common cause of death at work in the UK. The code focuses on current best practice in the use of MEWPs.

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