Setting the standard for elevating work platform safety

WorkSafe has launched a new industry standard for elevating work platforms (EWPs) to provide operators and employers with practical safety advice to prevent serious injuries and deaths.
News article published

Thursday 29 Apr 2021

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Ten workers have died in the past 10 years in incidents involving EWPs, making this commonly used equipment one of the deadliest hazards in Victorian workplaces.

Developed in consultation with Foundation for Safety Victoria, the standard identifies common risks and the best control measures to reduce them.

Moving machinery and working from height is a hazardous combination, especially when using EWPs where there is often the risk of electrical, crush, collision, overturning and falling object injuries.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said the new standard would provide employers with practical advice to help ensure the safety of workers.

"EWPs are a commonly used equipment for working from height, however they have unique risks with serious consequences when something goes wrong," Ms Nielsen said.

"Every employer should take the time to understand the new standard, check their systems of work, ensure they are selecting the right equipment and doing everything they can to operate safely."

"No matter what industry or type of work is being completed, make safety the first priority when using EWPs."

In the past two years there has been three deaths involving an EWP, including a 63-year-old man who fell seven metres when the scissor lift he was operating rolled in January, 2019.

A 26-year-old man also died in February, 2019, when the basket of his EWP came into contact with overhead powerlines, while a 37-year-old painter died after he was crushed between his EWP bucket and an overhead steel truss in January, 2020.

The new standard has been developed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the most important safety issues for using EWPs.

This includes who has a duty to ensure the health and safety of workers, selecting the appropriate EWP for the task at hand and the different types of EWP available.

The standard also covers EWP training and licensing requirements and how to ensure they are properly maintained and inspected for use.

For more information visit: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/ewp.