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The International Federation for Powered Access has released a new comprehensive guide. This guide outlines fundamental principles and ways to reduce risks when using Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) near power lines to help minimize electrocution and electric shock incidents (IPAF) as part of its ¡Alto Voltage!

Working near energized power lines can expose workers to health and safety risks, including death from electrocution or electrical shock. If a MEWP or its occupants come into contact with energized power lines, they can cause instant death, electric shock, or other injuries caused directly or indirectly by electricity. Equally serious can be the effect of the electric arc from the power line on a MEWP and its occupants. For this very reason, creating the guide helps avoid these fatal incidents.

The IPAF guide Safe use of MEWP in the vicinity of power lines aims to:

• Provide information for those who plan and manage MEWP operations.

• Supply information on the main causes of electrocutions with power lines.

• Raise awareness about the dangers and risks of working near power lines.

• Give information on industry sectors where electrocution and electric shock occur.

• Identify risk control measures and a Safe Work System (SSoW) to implement and reduce the number of incidents.

• Produce general global guidance for those performing tasks to prevent incidents from occurring.

Key security guidance points included in the new document include:

Ensure operators are trained – Anyone involved in the safe use of MEWPs should receive proper training on the type of MEWP they use and specific familiarization with the machine. Managers must ensure that MEWP operators, supervisors, and observers are informed about SSoW (Safe Systems Of Work).

Plan carefully:

Look for power lines in the work area. Perform a site survey and risk assessment to ensure an SSoW is completed. The correct machine selection is essential. If there are power lines in your work area, contact the Energy Supply Authority (ESA) before work begins. Ensure operators are briefed before starting work and aware of nearby power lines.


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