Managing The Risks Of Elevated Work Work Platforms (EWPs)
Key Reference: Guide To Managing The Risks Of Elevating Work Platforms
In September 2021 SafeWork Australia released a new document to guide the use of elevated work platforms – a tool which we have come to know is essential for your business success.
As Height Safety Installers, you are likely frequency users of EWPs when working at height, and will have a competent understanding of the risks involved with using this for your work. However this document serves as a valuable resource offering guidance and clarity for you and your team.
So what benefit is the new Guideline?
- It is a comprehensive document that covers all the key considerations you need to manage the risk of using EWPs.
- It is a resource to inform and/or check your current practices.
- It is a resource to guide your team in the safe use of EWPs.
What will directly help you, NOW?
- Selecting the right machine for the job (refer 4.1) – a key reminder is understanding the location where the machine is to be used and can you get it to where it needs to be and ensure it will be fundamentally stable to work from.
- Pre-operational checks (refer 4.4) – as the machine will likely be a hire machine, there is no room for assumptions that the machine is in safe operating condition. Of all the things you and your team can do to ensure your safety, it is recommended that very thorough pre-operational checks are completed. Don’t accept the providers report – confirm it.
- Confirming operator competence (refer 3.3-3.4) – consistent use of this type of machine does not always equal appropriate and safe use of the machine. It is recommended that on an annual basis you specifically review an operator’s competence. Old habits (unsafe habits) of operating can creep back and if becomes not if but when will an incident occur. Make sure a high risk work licence is valid where the operator needs one for a specific type of machine.
- Documenting hazard/risk and controls (refer 3.2, 3.7 and 6.0) – you are likely to have some level/type of Safe Work Method Statement written for the use of EWPs and this is a good base, but what is most essential is taking a further moment to understand the hazard/risk and controls that are introduced by the environment you are working in – particularly when it comes to working in and around utility services or hard to reach places.
- Simultaneous operations (refer 5.3) – following on from the above, whether you have multiple machines for one job or you are working in an environment where there are other activities occurring, your situational awareness of what is happening is going to be key to a safe outcome at the end of the day.
At SAYFA, We Save Lives and this includes your life. Remember there is no deadline so great that you cannot STOP and CHECK YOURSELF (and others) to ensure you get home every day to those most important in your life.
Did you know that SAYFA is an Australian owned and operated company and that over 90% of our products are manufactured right here in Australia?