16th September 2019
MEWPs: What are Mobile Elevated Work Platforms?
It might be something you have heard of before, or seen written down, but perhaps are unsure of what it means. Even if you have an understanding of MEWPs, you may still want to learn more about them.
That’s why we’ve written this helpful guide – here we explain everything you need to know about MEWPs, including information on sizes and heights as well as how to choose the right MEWP for your project.
What is a MEWP?
A MEWP is a mobile elevated work platform. Also known as an aerial work platform, it is a type of powered access machine that allows the movement of people and tools to working positions, often at a significant height. With the ability to be transported and set up quickly, they’re frequently used in a range of industries, but most commonly in the construction and warehouse sectors.
What sizes and heights do MEWPs come in?
MEWP sizes depend entirely on the individual vehicle type. Here are some of the most common types of mobile elevated work platforms, and the height ranges they can typically reach to:
Articulated boom lifts are more commonly known as cherry pickers. They provide a wide range of movement, including a sideways outreach. Available in a wide range of sizes, they’re suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Reach height: 10m – 43.15m
This vertical type of lift offers a large platform area and is ideal for situations that require a straight lift for access. Most come with guard rails surrounding the platform, making them very safe for use.
Reach height: 5.6m – 33.7m
A push around vertical platform is a smaller type of lift which incorporates a scissor or sigma arm mechanism. They tend to be fairly compact and lightweight, and make for a good stable platform at low levels.
Reach height: 3.6m – 5.1m
A small version of a cherry picker, mast lifts are a good choice if you need low level access and are working within a tight space. With a compact design, they’re ideal for using indoors or in busy public environments.
Reach height: 4.2m – 10m
Also referred to as stick boom lifts, this platform not only offers great height but can also move sideways, making it ideal for manoeuvring around objects.
Reach height: 15.45m – 58.6m
How to choose the right MEWP
It can be difficult to know which type of MEWP is best suited for your job. A good way to narrow it down is to ask a series of questions regarding its intended use. Here are some examples:
- How high do you need to go?
- How far do you need to reach? Also are there any obstacles that need to be navigated?
- What is the work environment going to be like? Consider how much space there is to move around in, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, and what the ground surface will be like.
- How much do you need to lift? You will need a sufficient load capacity for the weight.
- How many people will be using the MEWP at any one time?
How to manage the risks
Before you carry out any work at height, it’s important that you complete a comprehensive risk assessment to ensure the safety of you and your workers, then identify how to control those risks.
Always ensure that the safe working load allowance of the MEWP is displayed and adhered to, as exceeding this poses a risk of failure. The ground surface on which it’s operated must be stable and the level reviewed, and any weather conditions should be taken into consideration before use. You should also carry out a daily basic function check of the MEWP itself to ensure it’s in safe working order. Lastly, be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any mobile elevated work platform.
If you need any help with choosing a MEWP for your business, just get in touch. We are experts in providing new and used aerial work platforms for a range of purposes, and we would be happy to advise on what’s best for you.