CPCS A25 Mobile Elevating Work Platform – Scissor Course

1. Introduction

– Prepare more effectively for the theory and practical elements of the CPCS test – Understand the scope and purpose of the tests – Recognize what examiners are looking for.

This course is specifically designed for plant operators who need to renew their Red CPCS Operator card. Operators will achieve this by attending and successfully completing the CPCS Technical Test. The examinations will consist of a Professional Theory Test (covering core skills, A20C, and A25C, combined with questions related solely to the A25 category) and a Practical Test. The Technical Tests for this course can only be conducted at a CPCS accredited test centre. Successfully completing this course will enable candidates to:

The A25 course duration is subject to the experience of the candidates. For Novice candidates, the course will last 3 to 5 days, while for Experienced Worker Test (EWT) candidates, it will last 1 to 3 days. The maximum number of candidates per course is 6. The exact duration will be agreed upon between the course instructor and the individual candidate’s employer.

This A25 Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) – Scissor course is designed to provide the candidate with a thorough understanding of Mobile Elevated Work Platforms for Scissor Lifts. It aims to enable the candidate to take the CPCS A25 technical test and successfully achieve the CPCS Red Trained Operator Card.

1.1. Course Overview

This course is very intensive and is generally run with three to four trainees per instructor, allowing about thirty minutes of machine operating time per delegate. This is adequate for running through all checks and tasks in the operator’s guide. Simulation can be reduced to accommodate fewer delegates, but course costs will remain the same.

This is a combined theory and practical assessment course with the theory sessions taking place on the first and third day and the practical sessions taking place on the second and final day. Delegates will receive training and a course manual which is broken down into seven modules. This will provide delegates with a complete understanding of operating a mobile elevating work platform. After which, each module is concluded with a written test and an overall pass rate of 85% is required. Candidates that pass the written test and practical assessment will then receive a PAL (Powered Access License) photo ID card and certificate, which is valid for 5 years.

This course is designed to provide candidates with a thorough understanding of the hazards associated with the operation of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs). This course will instruct both delegates with no formal experience and those requiring refresher training. This nationally recognized course is designed to instruct up to a maximum of 4 candidates and provide a thorough understanding of the safe operation of scissor lifts. Successful delegates will receive a PAL (Powered Access License) photo ID card and certificate.

1.2. Course Objectives

To provide delegates with a thorough understanding of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, to identify the major components, and carry out pre-use checks to ensure that the equipment is safe to operate. At the end of the course, delegates will also be aware of the need for operator training, maintenance of log books, and familiarization of the specific MEWP that they will be using. Static boom, mobile vertical, mobile scissor, and push around machines are all categorized as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs). This course is for the scissor type only. Static booms are categorized as 1b, verticals as 3a, and scissors as 3b in the UK and also known as Aerial Work Platforms (AWPs) in the USA. Learn about the legislation affecting scissor lifts. Understand the ISO 11690 and the European EN 280 series of standards. Understand the classification of the MEWPs. Be able to define what is and what is not a MEWP. Recognize the different types of machines and their characteristics. Understand the difference between MEWP and powered access.

1.3. Target Audience

With an impending legislation (Growing Convergence with the rest of Europe and the use of ISO Standards), it may soon become a mandatory requirement to hold and operate construction machinery having provable competency. This may come in the form of a license or to be trained to an acceptable National Occupational Standards (NOS) or the implementation of the CSCS card scheme to operate Mobile Elevating Work Platforms. This CPCS course provides an accredited qualification that can be added to the Trainee Operators’ CSCS card and will prove that the holder has received training to an acceptable national standard in operating a Scissor MEWP.

The aim of the CPCS A25 course is to provide the candidate with thorough practical and theory training in operating a Scissor Mobile Elevating Work Platform. At the end of the training, the candidate will have enough knowledge and training to successfully pass the CPCS theory and practical technical tests. They will also be able to understand the appointed person’s duties in relation to using scissor MEWPs and understand and comply with the standards.

This course is aimed at candidates with an operational role in operating mobile elevating work platforms. They are designed for operating in established work environments on the ground and will not be applicable to the MEWPs designed specifically for railway track or the two types of MEWPs designed for traveling over rough terrain or on floors that are not smooth or even (Mast-Climbing Work Platform and Construction Hoist).

2. Safety Regulations

2.1 Safety Regulations CPCS expects candidates to have a basic understanding of current health and safety issues. Because of this, the topic and understanding of safety regulations and accidents will feature prominently through the theory and practical elements of the CPCS Plant training and testing. We would expect that Safety Regulations will be delivered with the aid of a PowerPoint Presentation and the lecturer will bring awareness for candidates to relate duties and responsibilities to themselves as they are today but also to identify with the topic and follow good safety practices in the future. This could be through simple steps to avoid accidents to preventing ill health and safety measures which are known to cause accidents and ill health in the plant industry. Candidacy at the theory stage of the CPCS plant training and testing is not just for those who are starting out in the plant industry. Many candidates are experienced operators who have never received formal training and can learn from this to update knowledge and demonstrate competency.

The course is designed for persons who wish to use MEWPs within the access industry, e.g., to enable them to get to their work in industries such as cleaning, construction, decoration, electrical, façade cleaning, insulation, installation, maintenance, mechanical engineering, pest control, plumbing, roofing, steeple jacking, and window cleaning. This could also apply to persons in non-construction environments such as airports, factories, offices, retail outlets, and schools.

This aims at promoting an understanding of procedures for safe working with mobile elevating work platforms. Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) should be used for tasks of short duration and where other means of access are not reasonably practicable. This is a one-day course incorporating both theory and practical sessions and is designed to ensure that an operator is able to manoeuvre, drive, and position the MEWPs safely and proficiently.

2.1. Importance of Safety in the Workplace

Because compliance with safety regulations is the most effective way of preventing accidents, it is vital that the user knows the regulations and what they mean. This is so that when it comes to the employer or self-employed person, as stated in Regulation 9, it is possible to ensure they have safe equipment through the selection of suitable equipment and suppliers. Regulations can also be used as a measure of risk assessment, and it will be easier to determine whether a task involving a MEWP is actually necessary or whether it can be achieved more safely and usefully in a different manner.

The regulations described continue in great length and can seem fairly laborious. However, it is essential that all safety regulations are understood and followed. The consequences of not following regulations can be very serious. And consider that failure to comply with the requirements of the regulations is an offence and will be prosecuted by law. MEWPs are very effective for working at height tasks, but the safety in both its operation and the activity being performed whilst using the machine must always take precedence.

It is also important to establish a safe working environment for the worker. Most accidents involving MEWPs occur from falls from the platform. Measures should be taken to prevent the machines from driving off the edge or into holes. It is also important to know that the machine is stable when it is doing the task. If work equipment is provided for use or used at work, there is a duty to ensure it is safe. Part 1, Section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work Act puts this duty on any employer or self-employed person.

Regulation 4 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 states that all work equipment must be constructed or adapted so that it is suitable for the purpose for which it is used. Mobile elevating work platforms are varied in their build and formation with different manufacturers, and it is crucial for the right machine to be used for the task at hand.

Safety is an essential doctrine in any given work establishment. This is why it is paramount that all the aspects of safety are observed, especially when regarding the use of heavy machinery and plant. The relevant regulations are in place because the use of machinery and plant can cause accidents. “The operation of the machine or plant more suited to a factory than in open air can also lead to accidents occurring in the usual use of machines.” This is detailed in the Workplace Safety Act, RPSE 2004. It may not always be possible to avoid the use of a MEWP for every activity and the injuries that are a result of the dangerous act or the misuse of machine.

2.2. Overview of Relevant Safety Regulations

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states a requirement for all employers to focus on managing workplaces and work activities, so they are safe and without risks to health. This involves a prevention program which must be put in place by the employer and must be removed before alternative access equipment which is safer than a MEWP can be used. A more recent legislation, the Work at Height Regulations 2005, requires that any work at height activity is planned to ensure that it is organized in a safe manner. Steps are set out for avoiding, preventing, and slowing any work at height hazards and that the appropriate work equipment is selected.

In the UK, the safety standards for mobile elevated work platforms are derived from European Legislation which was issued in 1992 (Directive 89/655/EEC). As a result of this, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 (PUWER 1998) were put in place and affect any person or company who is in control of the use of work equipment. PUWER requires that equipment provided for use at work is suitable for the intended use and is safe for use, maintained in a safe condition, and inspected to ensure it is correctly installed and that it is only used by people who have received adequate information, instruction, and training. In relation to MEWPs, this affects the workplace owner more so than the operator, as it is up to them to ensure that any access platforms that they hire are safe and also that the operator has received some form of formal training for using the equipment. This can be highlighted in the hiring of a mobile elevating work platform. If an operator has a valid PAL Card, this shows that he has had adequate training and should be a safer and more proficient worker than one who has never used such equipment and has had no training.

With the high tech modernisation that is apparent in everyday life, safety regulations have become more and more tight to implement and follow. In essence, they are put in place to protect both users and any other third parties from any potential risks and dangers which could occur as a result of using a MEWP machine.

2.3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment, as described by the World Health Organization, is “any item of clothing or equipment used to protect workers from harm.” Guarding against external physical, mechanical, chemical, or biological agents, PPE can be a saving grace in many dangerous environments. Should a risk or potential hazard be identified during the risk assessment which cannot be avoided or sufficiently controlled, PPE can play an important role in reducing the likelihood of causing harm. This is often the last resort in protecting the health and safety of an employee and should be seen as such. Due to its nature of controlling the contact a worker has between himself and the hazard, there is often an increased risk of injury while using PPE. This should be considered and acknowledged when deciding whether PPE is the correct measure of control. When selecting which PPE to use, employers and workers should assess the compatibility of the equipment with the working environment, the degree of protection required, the duration it is to be used, and the associated costs. PPE is not a solution in itself, but a necessary extra layer of protection workers can employ in hazardous environments. Its use should accompany other control measures.

2.4. Emergency Procedures

It is a requirement of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations that all new work equipment should be safe. It must be designed and constructed so that it can be used safely and maintained. At a minimum, this involves meeting essential health and safety requirements. This is also relevant to PUWER. When using any type of MEWP, it is essential to ensure that the machine is safe and any potential hazards are eliminated. Regular maintenance and inspections should be carried out. The use of a MEWP that is unsafe and/or has not been maintained is likely to result in an incident or dangerous occurrence. This usually applies for all types of work equipment, but for reasons of health and safety, there is a specific requirement for mobile work equipment used in the construction sector to be CE marked. This is enforceable by the use of CDM and at present this involves only a few types of mobile work equipment, one of them being mobile elevating work platforms.

If the mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) operator encounters an emergency whilst operating the MEWP, he/she should apply the emergency lowering/braking system, reassume control of the machine and safely descend to the ground or nearby safe location. The operator should then assess the situation and determine the need for external assistance. If the operator determines that external assistance is required, he/she should contact the relevant emergency services and provide information on the machine and nature of the problem. If the operator or an individual on the ground is injured as a result of a MEWP incident, the HSE must be notified immediately.

3. Equipment Familiarization

Before any operation of a scissor lift ensues, it is important to have a good understanding of both the controls of that machine and the environment in which the machine is to be used.

Scissor lifts have a simple steering/control system with directional control being provided by the unit’s extendable or fixed rear wheels. The larger scissor lifts will have a joystick-type arrangement allowing 360-degree movement relative to other machines which have a pull-down lever that controls the angle and speed of movement of the control/drive unit. In either case, the controls will be situated in the platform basket close to the unit’s emergency lowering system switch, a horn button, and a battery condition indicator gauge. The controls will be normally protected by ROPS and FOPS frame with a roof.

MEWPS are available in various sizes and styles to suit different applications, the most common being the scissor lift. Scissor lift type platforms are the most versatile and can be used in a variety of different applications due to their lower cost and high level of durability. The scissor lift is available in different sizes and is usually powered by either battery, dual battery/diesel, or dual battery/LPG. They are so named because the mechanical linkage drawn from one side to the other when the platform is raised resembles a scissor’s action.

Mobile elevating work platforms were designed to provide access to and from job sites that are at high levels. When using a mobile elevating platform, there are multiple uses. For example, in the construction industry, the use will be obvious to install, repair, or clean ceilings or roof areas or above high-level structures. But generally, MEWPS will be used whenever there is a need to work above the ground or an area that is above normal safe reach.

3.1. Introduction to Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs)

And finally, to perform the functions of tilting the platform, you will use the tilt lever, which will be located next to the lift and down functions. This lever is pretty self-explanatory seeing as how there are only two directions that you can tilt the platform. Pushing the lever left or right will make the platform tilt in either direction and will be used to easily maneuver the lift to where the job needs to be done. This is also a fairly easy control to master, but always be cautious as to not accidentally tilt the platform too far and cause an accident.

Now moving onto lifting and lowering the platform. You’ll notice that there are two levers located on either side of the steering wheel. The lever on the right is the one that will lift the platform to take it higher off the ground, and the one on the left is the valve to lower the platform back down. You simply push the lever up to raise the platform or pull the lever down to lower the platform. This is probably the easiest function to master on a scissor lift.

Once you’ve learned the basics of operating a scissor lift, now is the fun part. Now you’ll get to drive the lift around and learn how it maneuvers. To begin with, you’ll notice that a scissor lift has similar controls to that of a forklift. To go forward or backwards, you will use the steering wheel, which will determine the direction that the lift will travel based on which way you turn it. This may sound simple enough, but make sure that you’re fully aware of how to control the lift while in the air, as the way you turn the wheel will take some getting used to if you’re new at operating a scissor lift.

3.2. Scissor Lift Components and Controls

Scissor lift components and controls. Scissor lifts are only one type of mobile elevating work platform (MEWP). A scissor lift is a type of platform that can usually only move vertically. The mechanism to achieve this is the use of linked, folding supports in a criss-cross pattern, known as a pantograph or scissor mechanism. The upward motion is achieved by the application of pressure to the outside of the lowest set of supports, elongating the crossing pattern, and propelling the work platform vertically. The power to the hydraulic motors is sometimes a pneumatic system, but more often is a hydraulic system due to the ability to make very large amounts of power through relatively small sized hoses and flexible conduits. The scissor lift has been designed to lift a heavy load to a certain height, hence these machines need a single or double acting hydraulic cylinder. These are available with the same sort of hose and tubing systems as the hydraulic motors, and these are the things that you will be checking when the machine is being properly prepared for use.

3.3. Pre-Operational Checks and Maintenance

Finally, maintenance involves any adjustments, replacements, or repairs that are necessary to ensure that the equipment is in a safe working condition. Creating a maintenance routine is the best way to ensure that the machine remains in a safe working condition at all times. This is because if any items are repaired during the pre-operational checks, they have a tendency to simply become part of the daily routine if a record is not kept. This can lead to said item eventually failing during operation, often with disastrous consequences.

The pre-operational checks are divided into two types. Daily checks are carried out each day when the machine is going to be used. Weekly checks are usually more in depth and are carried out by the operator who is using the machine. These checks should have been identified during the ‘on hire’ inspection whereby the operator would have gone through the weekly check with the person delivering the machine.

The importance of pre-operational checks cannot be overemphasized. It is a well-known fact that the success or failure of any piece of equipment can often be attributed to the quality of the pre-operational checks carried out. These checks often take less than 5-10 minutes and are time well spent. They ensure that all safety critical items are working and that potential problems are dealt with before they affect the machine’s operation. These checks also allow the operator to be familiar with the location of safety critical items (e.g. pressure relief valves, manual descent valves) and to ensure that he/she is familiar with the meaning of data plate information. This is also an ideal time to ensure that maintenance records and the machine’s logbook are up to date and available at all times.

4. Safe Operating Practices

Stability and load capacity information may be found in the operator’s manual, load capacity plate or other suitable markings on the machine. The operator must consider the weight and dimensions of the load to be lifted and also take into account the reach height and required position of the platform. If there is any doubt as to the machine’s capability to carry out the task, then reference should be made to the owner or person in charge of the machine for guidance. Always apply the principles of the hierarchy of control and try to avoid work at height using the platform as the means of access to other areas where collective protection measures could be employed.

Incorrect or inappropriate operating practices are the major cause of accidents and overturning of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs). It is essential that the operator is fully trained and familiarized with the specific machine that is to be used and is able to apply the fundamental principles for safe operation.

4.1. Stability and Load Capacity

When raising tools and materials in the platform, the machine’s load capacity must always be considered. It is possible to overload a MEWP on one side by lifting a heavy load on one side of the platform; this can lead to the platform tilting or the machine itself leaning to one side. Always consider the weight and distribution of loads lifted in the machine and compare this information to the machine’s load capacity and the load capacity of one side of the platform.

The primary risk of overturning the machine is when raising materials and tools in the platform, or when using the platform to gain access to areas above ground level.

The design of a scissor MEWP will determine the amount of tilt or lean the machine can sustain before it will overturn. Generally, the machines with a higher center of gravity and a narrower wheelbase will have a higher risk of overturn. Always consult the machine’s operator manual for specific advice on the machine’s capabilities and limitations. The surface conditions that can affect the stability and tilt of the machine include gradients, potholes, and varying ground conditions. Always avoid these conditions where possible and if grading is required, always grade on the frontal plane of the machine. Gradient and side slope capabilities on scissor machines can vary greatly depending on the machine model. A safe gradient capability should be around 30%, check the operator’s handbook for machine specifics. Side slope capabilities can be considerably less than the machine’s gradient capability, again check specific capabilities. If grading work must be carried out on a side slope, grade perpendicular to the machine’s side slope direction.

A mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) is a piece of equipment that presents certain hazards to the operator in respect to its movement while loaded. The hazards and the safe practices needed to control the risks in respect of the overturning of the machine are detailed below. An overturn of a MEWP can cause serious injury or death to an operator and/or persons in the platform and below the machine; an overturned machine is also likely to be severely damaged.

4.2. Safe Working Heights and Distances

Any task involving the work of more than one person in the platform requires a special focus on teamwork and communication. This ensures both safe machine operation and the task at hand. If the work is to be carried out with a single machine, it is often less risky and more efficient to transport the materials to a higher level using a winch and simple pulley system rather than to elevate the materials and the employee.

Elevation type mobile and static booms are effective where there is a requirement to work at several height levels. If working with any elevation type machine, ensure that the risk of falling material is minimized and it is safe to clean debris from the platform.

Depending on the machine and the task, some duties are best accomplished at specific height levels. Ensure the correct machine is chosen to carry out this task. If it is possible to carry out the task from a static scissor, the use of a scissor with a static platform and no elevation function is the safest option. This will eliminate any risk due to a moving platform elevation type machine. Static booms are also a safe and effective method for high-level work when the task can be reached directly above the machine’s resting place.

When assessing multiple tasks and working heights, it is sometimes best to consider hiring several machines. This reduces the need for frequent repositioning and it will increase productivity. Any payment saved from consolidating to a single machine will often be lost due to increased task time and poor machine utilization.

Good practice when considering the height at which an employee is going to work with the Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) is to consider if safely working at height is avoidable, for example, could the task be undertaken at ground level or from a safe structure or building. If the task which requires the use of a MEWP cannot be avoided, then the lowest possible level is the best option. Often it is more feasible to use the machine and carry out several tasks at the same level rather than repeatedly elevating and descending. This reduces the unsafe working height within the task.

For the purposes of this course and safety in the workplace, working heights can be divided into five groups: – Ground level up to 2 metres – From 2 metres up to 5 metres – From 5 metres up to 7.5 metres – From 7.5 metres up to 10 metres – Above 10 metres

4.3. Maneuvering and Positioning Techniques

If the machine has to be pushed or pulled by hand for any distance, use the correct manual handling techniques, assess the weight of the machine, and where possible use suitable aids and get help to avoid injury. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for machine-specific information on travel with the machine and manual pushing or pulling of the machine.

Plan your route to avoid steep slopes, bumps, holes, and other uneven surfaces that could affect stability. Always drive with the platform or cage in its stowed position, except when driving certain types of road/rail machines as recommended by the manufacturer. If the ground is soft, easily cut up, or the bearing capacity is unknown, place suitable matting or take other measures to spread the load. If in any doubt about the surface conditions, get advice from the site supervisor and if necessary, carry out a trial track with the unloaded machine to assess the ground bearing capacity.

Position the machine close to the work area to reduce the need to reach and overreach with the platform, but always maintain the minimum safe distances from obstructions and overhead power lines. Avoid sudden changes in function selection that may rock the machine.

When moving the MEWP, apply the brakes, even on a slight slope, and wait until the machine has stopped moving before selecting a different function. Never bypass or override the automatic braking function. Reduce the height when driving the machine to improve stability and to avoid the risk of overturning.

4.4. Working on Uneven Surfaces

Sometimes the task may require the operator to travel over uneven ground. If there is a risk of overturning on a gradient, do not travel or elevate the platform. If driving or elevation on a gradient is essential, ensure that there is no risk of the MEWP overturning. This may mean roping off the area where the MEWP will travel to stop unauthorized persons changing the course of the MEWP and making the task unsafe. The MEWP should move slowly and with smooth control. Do not make sudden changes of direction or speed. If there is a possibility that one wheel of the MEWP could lift off the ground when driving up or down a curb, use suitable planking or a ramp. If it is foreseen that there will be a need to drive on or elevate the platform on soft ground, it may be necessary to use a different type of MEWP or ground protection material that will provide a suitable bearing edge. In conditions where the wheels may sink, providing an uneven platform, the stability of a MEWP could be seriously compromised. For compact and scissor type MEWPs, where the ground conditions are unsuitable, it may be necessary to tow the MEWP onto site with a suitable 4×4 vehicle. Always refer to the machine’s operator’s manual or consult with the hire company. Every MEWP has a safe working gradient specification. This is the angle at which the MEWP is stable and can perform its intended tasks. When driving an MEWP up or down a slope, it is important to know the gradient of the slope and its suitability with the machine’s safe working specification. This information should also be provided by the hire company. If there are any doubts, test the slope with the wheels and do not proceed if the machine is not stable.

5. Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

A risk assessment should be carried out by an appointed competent person. This is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to manage health and safety. The main objective is to decide what needs to be done to control health and safety risks and in what order of priority. A good risk assessment will help in deciding whether or not there is a need to do anything to control the risks. It is important to keep both the assessment and the subsequent implementation of control measures simple. In a small firm, risks can be assessed without formality, using the experience of those involved. A hazard is anything that may cause harm, such as chemical substances and situations where a person has to work at height. Measures already in place to control the risks should be considered, and it is important to decide whether or not further control measures are necessary. It may be necessary to identify what legislation applies. Sources of information to help in identifying hazards and assessing risks may include: manufacturer’s information and instructions, information from trade associations and trade unions, and the relevant legislation. When it has been decided whether or not there is a need to control the risk, the main priority areas should have control measures allocated to them. These control measures do not have to be assessed immediately, but it should always be remembered if further work is being done, e.g. on a new piece of equipment, what the risk is and whether or not additional control measures are needed.

All work tasks can pose a potential threat to health and safety, and it is important to identify and control any potential hazards. For mobile elevated work platforms, hazards are increased and therefore more attention needs to be given to health and safety. Before operating a MEWP, a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks should be undertaken to identify all possible hazards.

5.1. Identifying Common Workplace Hazards

Categorize and provide the hierarchy of hazards using the RIDDOR – Hierarchy of Hazard controls. Classify the method of work/task with a risk rating which can be achieved using a risk matrix. The identified hazards and suggested control measures can then be documented. A risk matrix involves evaluating the consequence and likelihood of the risk and forming a score which will determine the level of risk and how it should be controlled. (More information on risk assessment and risk matrix)

A generic risk assessment involves considering the overall role and environment of the machine or plant, without going into specific tasks or work location. Generic assessments can often be less effective as the assessor may not have a clear understanding of the risk to develop effective controls.

SWA – Safe work method statement is a document that sets out the high-risk work activities to be carried out at a workplace, the hazards and risks arising from these activities, and the measures to be put in place to control the risks. The emphasis on the SWA is identifying the controls required to manage the risk involved in an activity. (Learn more about safe work method statement)

JSA – Job safety analysis is a systematic approach to eliminating or minimizing the risk of injury in the workplace. It involves a specific sequence of job-related activities in which the potential safety hazards in each activity can be identified and remedied. (Learn more about job safety analysis)

5.1 Compare the differences between systematic and generic risk assessments.

5.2. Conducting a Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is a careful examination of a task, job, or process. It is making sure that something does not cause harm to anyone. There are three main questions in risk assessment. The questions are: – What could go wrong? – What can I do to prevent it? – If it did go wrong, how bad would the result be? By answering these three questions, a risk assessment should be able to make sure that the task, job, or process considered is a safe one to carry out. A risk assessment should be carried out before any job takes place. This will allow for the identification of any hazards, and a plan can be put in place to eliminate or control the risks. There are different types of risk assessment that can be used. These are: preliminary, pre-task, and real-time assessment. A preliminary risk assessment is carried out at the planning stage for a job. It is usually general and depends on the idea or previous experience of a similar task. A pre-task risk assessment is done as the name suggests, prior to task commencement. This is usually more specific and involves going to the task location and identifying any changes in the environment that could pose a risk. A real-time assessment is a process of continually assessing the situation as a job progresses. This will involve dealing with any changes or problems that were not anticipated. At a risk assessment stage, the hazards that have been identified are re-evaluated to see how likely it is that something could go wrong and to assess the severity of the consequences. This is called risk rating and is done by using a risk matrix. The risk matrix takes into account the likelihood and consequences of a hazard to give a risk rate of high, medium, or low.

5.3. Controlling and Minimizing Risks

It is important to ensure that control measures are implemented. It is easy to say that something can be done to reduce a risk, but it often does not happen. When beginning a task, it is good practice to have a look into the job safety and plan any necessary control measures at the S.T.A.R.T (point), meaning Safe Task And Risky Task.

Control measures include changes to the way a task is carried out, the tools and equipment used, the working environment, or by changing the capabilities of people. An effective method of deciding how to control a hazard is to consult with those who are operational in the work area. They are likely to have good ideas about the most cost-effective ways to implement better safety.

Before starting a task, it is important to consider what can be done to minimize any risks involved. Certain risks are acceptable if they are entirely unavoidable. A good example is the risk of overturning due to a slope. In this case, it is not advisable to use an item of machinery such as a Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP). Other risks are acceptable if the task is essential. An example could be, at some point, working at height in the telecommunications industry to repair a fault. Where possible, risks should be reduced. Aim to reduce the severity and likelihood of each risk. If it is possible to completely eliminate the risk, then this should be the objective.

6. Operating Procedures

6.2. Operating Controls and Functions Instruct the operator to perform the checks below as you explain them. Refer to the operator manual covering the appropriate machine configuration. The operator manual will contain specific technical data, instructions, and maintenance information. Familiarize the operator with this information to ensure it is understood and accessible during machine operation.

6.1. Start-up and Shut-down Procedures Before starting the machine, refer to the pre-start checks outlined in section 4. Before driving the machine, ensure that all entry gates are closed, ensure that the job area is free from obstruction and the platform is clear of debris. Seat the operator in the correct position with the controls in the stowed position, with his/her safety harness and lanyard worn and any additional PPE suitable for the task. If there is a risk of crushing caused by movement of the platform, then the machine should not be driven from the platform. The operator should avoid carrying tools or equipment whilst accessing the platform. When the platform is 2m or more above the lower level, a risk assessment should be made on the tools and equipment being used. The machine is now ready to be driven to its working position.

The mobile elevating work platform must only be operated on a solid, level surface. Check slope indicator for working across slopes and inclines. When working in the vicinity of other occupied or moving machines or equipment, much greater care will be necessary to ensure that collisions are avoided. The guidance systems and any relevant signals will be the responsibility of the operator/supervisor. A banks man or signalling operative could be used. The operator/supervisor must brief any banks man or signalling operative of the required signals or movements. During specific activities additional JHA may be required.

6.1. Start-Up and Shut-Down Procedures

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions prior to using the machine. Carry out an inspection of the workplace and establish if the environment is safe to carry out the required task. Ensure that there are no obstacles or hazards in the work area which could cause damage to the machine or act as a risk to the operator and/or personnel in the surrounding area. Wheel the machine to the required work area. Before starting the engine, ensure that the area directly around the machine is clear from any personnel or obstacles. If there is a risk of the machine coming into contact with any other vehicles or plant equipment, apply safety control measures to prevent this from happening, i.e. barriers etc. The mobile elevating work platform can cause injury to personnel or damage to equipment if the engine is started accidentally. Always remove the ignition key and keep it in a safe place when the machine is not in use. This provides a secure method of shutdown. Injury can also be caused if the control panel is inadvertently operated. Lock the platform gate when the machine is not in use to prevent unauthorized use.

6.2. Operating Controls and Functions

Key Pad Entry: The machine will not operate unless the correct code is entered allowing it to be tracked to the current user. Power Button: This is to start the machine once access is gained. Emergency Stop: This button will stop all systems and functions while preventing activation till it has been reset. Manual Descent: This used instead of the lift controls to lower the platform – hold the button to stop when desired height is achieved. Overriding the system needs specific procedures depending on the machine. Platform tilt alarm: An audible alarm that will sound if the platform exceeds the maximum slope, it is usually deactivated within the lift controls so it must not be confused with the travel alarm. Step on lift functions: When one side is pressed this will raise the scissor lift, when the other is pressed it will lower the lift.

The scissor lift has simple controls located on the platform and they are mainly push buttons. The only exception being the saloon door style gated entry, activated systems will include the power source and emergency stop. Also all machines will be fitted with descent and tilt alarms; the scissor lift must have operators familiar with their use and any override functions. These can differ across machines but the following is a typical layout. Safety Devices/Machine Function

6.3. Elevating and Lowering the Platform

Lowering the platform can be a hazardous maneuver if proper procedures are not followed. The operator should position the platform and machine away from hazards and overhead obstructions and be sure the locational area of the platform is clear from co-workers or passers-by. The operator should locate the descend control and depress the joystick until the platform has reached the desired level. When lowering the platform to dismount, it is good practice to reduce the platform height so that the distance of the step from the platform to the ground is as minimal as possible. This helps to reduce the risk of a fall from height.

To elevate the platform, some machines require the operator to hold the joystick control in the platform ‘up’ position until the platform is fully elevated. When elevating the platform, check overhead clearances to avoid impact or crush hazards. Some scissor lifts are equipped with a limit switch that prevents elevation in areas with low overhead clearance. If there is a chance that a scissor lift could be struck by a vehicle or other mobile equipment, set up work zone warnings using safety markers and signs, and appoint a co-worker to act as a flag person to control traffic. This is also covered in Chapter 6, Using Safety Devices and Features.

6.3. Elevating and Lowering the Platform

Operating Procedures Start-up and Shut-down Procedures Operating Controls and Functions Elevating and Lowering the Platform Using Safety Devices and Features

6.4. Using Safety Devices and Features

Several other safety interlock systems may be fitted to machines that are to be used in potentially hazardous environments. For instance, machines used in environments with a risk of explosion may have a system to prevent sparking in the engine. These systems would ideally prevent use of the machine in a dangerous location, but if the task is essential it would be better to rent a machine that is safe for the work environment.

There are a range of sensors fitted to MEWPs to prevent them being used in an unsafe manner. For instance, tilt and descent sensors will sound an alarm and prevent machine functions if the machine is parked on a slope that is too steep. These sensors make it frustratingly difficult to carry out certain tasks, however, it is crucial that the machine is moved to a location that is deemed safe to carry out work. Always consult an engineer if a job must be carried out on a less than ideal surface, i.e., muddy ground.

Stability and support systems – outriggers are designed to ensure stability of the machine. It is crucial to never override the automatic outrigger function. If there is a chance that the ground may be too soft for outriggers, do not lift the machine onto the equipment, always check the ground conditions first.

There are a number of safety devices and features to ensure that MEWPs can be used and managed safely, these include:

7. Practical Training and Evaluation

The practical training increases competency and proficiency of the operator to ensure safe operation. The trainer is able to tailor the programme to suit the needs of the individual, and can increase the level of difficulty as the operator progresses. This may involve using different types of machines, working at heights or operating in confined spaces. The trainer is responsible for ensuring that the operator is working within the safe operating practices as described in the theory component of this training. There will also be a system in place for operators who have previous experience or have been operating without adequate training to undertake a formal ‘test-only’ option to gain their competency certification. The trainer will have a system in place to verify the abilities of each operator throughout the training. This may involve a log book signed by the trainer to verify that the operator has demonstrated a specific competency. An effective system uses a checklist against various competencies can be found in the IPAF Operators’ Safety Guide or a similar document.

7.1. Hands-On Training Exercises

Trainees should be asked to carry out a pre-use inspection/test and then a series of manoeuvring, positioning, and elevating exercises to ensure that they are familiar with the machine’s controls and can handle the machine safely and competently. Exercise routes and plans are included in the Practical Exercises and the Scoring Criteria within the Course Assessment Strategy. Static elevating scissor platforms with the guard rails correctly positioned should be used to eliminate the risk of an accident involving an elevating platform. Where possible, trainees should operate their familiar machine. Aim: For trainees to learn to handle the machine safely, position the machine for work at height and to move materials, etc. to a location at height and carry out work at height, all in a controlled and competent manner.

7.2. Simulated Scenarios and Problem-Solving

Educators must consider using full-size, commercially available software, cockpit procedures trainers, virtual reality trainers, and PC-based simulators to engage the student in problem-solving scenarios. It has been recognized that the focus of the simulation will change as the students progress through their studies. They will begin by focusing on developing a holistic understanding of the task. This will involve using simulation as a learning tool. For example, they may use a boom-type MEWP trainer to learn about the forces involved with driving the wheels of the machine up a curb. Students can experiment with different tire types and inflation before moving onto trying different designs of MEWP. The task understanding phase will later change to a learning from simulation focus. An experienced scissor-type MEWP operator learning to operate a telescopic handler may use a simulation to learn about the forces involved with driving over uneven ground, with the intention of transferring his previous knowledge to a new task. The shifting focus of simulations from a tool for learning about new tasks to a learning from tool is an important concept to understand. It would be expected that the experience and knowledge of a given operator would affect the way they utilize simulations as a tool to develop new skills. Simulated scenario task construction is an involved process. In order for the simulation to provide an effective learning environment, the scenario must be relevant to the target population, match their skill level, and be of an acceptable difficulty. It should be noted that matching the complexity level of the scenario to the competency level of the student is important and that skills learned in a simulation which are deemed too difficult or are unlikely to be used in the near future may be forgotten before they are used. In a study conducted to compare novice and experienced operator performance with a scissor-type MEWP, it was found that experienced operators would often use tramway sloper working methods to increase reach height, as that is a task-specific MEWP attachment. A scenario constructed for experienced operators to learn this mode of working would mimic specific tasks with the aim of increasing platform elevation, while a novice operator training a scissor-type MEWP for the first time may be given a scenario just to increase reach height, that has a lesser specific task focus.

7.3. Evaluation of Operator Skills and Competencies

In order to ensure that the candidate has adequate knowledge of the machine type that they will be using, an open discussion and question and answer session will take place with the trainer. The trainer will use his expert knowledge and vast experience of work in all industry sectors to relate to the candidates the best ways to work safely and efficiently. Job sheets and inspection checklists will be used to ensure the candidate has a full understanding of pre-work checks and maintenance of the machine type.

Candidates who require training on categories other than ‘Static Boom’ should have a basic knowledge of the machine to be used and how it is to be used in their line of work. This will help candidates to get the most from their training and ensure improved safety in the workplace. The machines are divided into two classifications: mobile and static. A mobile machine is defined as ‘wheel or chassis mounted’ and a static machine as ‘fixed to a vertical surface or positioned in some other manner’. The category then has bearing on the way the machine is used to work at height.

This is an ongoing process completed during both the practical and classroom-based training with the aim of ensuring the candidate has the knowledge to safely use and operate the MEWPs in their day-to-day duties. This will be carried out through observation of the candidate, question and answer sessions, and the use of ‘Test your Knowledge’ sheets.

8. Maintenance and Inspections

Paragraph 2: Inspection procedures and documentation Regulation 6 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states that all movable work equipment should be inspected by a competent person to ensure health and safety during regular intervals. In frequently used environments, a seven-day interval has been minimally specified. All inspection and maintenance tasks must be documented to provide evidence that the regulations are being met. Inspection and maintenance documentation should include a general maintenance log that details the machine’s service life and dates relating to all routine maintenance tasks. This is particularly useful for familiarizing a new operator with the maintenance history of the machine. As well as this, a file of manufacturers’ maintenance instructions and checklists, and all documentation relating to inspection should be kept. The information on inspection and maintenance tasks should be used to draft up a maintenance schedule to be displayed in the workplace. This will ensure that regular intervals and dates of maintenance are made clear. Task assignments should be made for each routine maintenance and inspection activity. These will help to ensure that the right people are carrying out the right tasks with the right resources. Always assign tasks to someone who is both trained and competent to carry them out.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommended level of lubrication with the understanding that applications in different environments may require more regular lubrication.

Step one in promoting the safe operation of a scissor lift is to keep it in a safe condition. Periodic lubrication of the scissor lift will ensure that components do not wear excessively. This requires the use of a good quality grease and lubrication of all pivot points on the scissor arms and the front and rear rollers. Over-greasing should be avoided, which is indicated where old grease is discolored from the new grease. This causes a thick layer that can lead to a drawing in of contaminants, hence leading to rapid wear of components.

The machine should be cleaned on a regular basis. When cleaning the machine, care should be taken to ensure that water or any other substances do not enter the electronics area. External parts of the lift should be cleaned using a mild detergent and a soft cloth. High-pressure washing systems should only be used on the machine if recommended by the manufacturer. If the scissor lift is used in a corrosive environment such as coastal or chemical areas, more frequent cleaning may be necessary to prevent deterioration of the equipment. All paint spillages, concrete, dirt, and other materials should be removed from the machine. If the machine is to be washed, it should be left out to dry for a period of time. Allowing water and dirt to build up on the machine can lead to an increased risk of deterioration and malfunction of components.

Paragraph 1: Routine maintenance tasks Scissor lift manufacturers provide maintenance checklists, which detail daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Manufacturers also provide detailed instructions and schedules relating to maintenance opportunities and the machine’s service life. This information, as well as information relating to inspection and maintenance tasks, should be made readily available to the operator. Manufacturers’ instructions and checklists must be strictly adhered to, and should the operator be in any doubt as to the correct maintenance tasks or replacement parts, they should immediately consult the manufacturer.

8.1. Routine Maintenance Tasks

Introduction 16 8. Maintenance and Inspections 17 8.1. Routine Maintenance Tasks 17 8.1.1. Washing and Cleaning 17 8.1.2. Lubrication of Machine 17 8.1.3. Inspection of Hydraulic Hoses and Electrical Cables 17 8.1.4. Inspection of Hydraulic Cylinders 17 8.1.5. Checking and Adjusting Break Out Force Limiter 17 8.1.6. Platform Check 18 8.1.7. Lowering and Stopping Operation Check 18 8.1.8. Emergency Lowering Check 18 8.1.9. Limit Switch Check 18 8.1.10. Tyre Natural Rubber Inspection and Pressure Check 18 8.1.11. Steering System Check 18 8.1.12. Chassis Levelling System Check 18 8.1.13. Generator/Engine Inspection Including Exhaust Emissions 18 8.1.14. Function Testing All Hydraulic Controls and Checking for Abnormal Noise 18 8.1.15. Function Testing of All Electrical Controls 19 8.1.16. Checking All Decals and Safety Signs Are Present and Legible 19 8.2. Inspection Procedures and Documentation 19 8.3. Reporting Defects and Malfunctions 19 This is quite a comprehensive list and to demonstrate I fully understand the variances in the machine, I shall conduct an inspection on the 19m Genie scissor lift at my current work premises. Following the list, I will wash down and inspect the machine, ensuring all lubrication is done and finally do the inspection of all hydraulic and electrical testing. I will document the inspection using the defects and damage record sheet that I have designed as part of the machine-specific folder. If, however, any defects are found, I would proceed with the actions highlighted in 8.3. Reporting Defects and Malfunctions.

8.2. Inspection Procedures and Documentation

Tasks to be carried out with the aid of the checklist are to mirror routine maintenance tasks, with extra allocation of time. Additional time is required to check items that can still function correctly but may be near the end of their useful life. An example would be a battery for the scissor lift. Testing the battery to determine its ability is a good task; however, unlike routine maintenance, no replacement will be required. A decision will be made from battery test results as to when an attempt to locate a new battery is to be made.

The checklist will outline the required task and how to check the item in question. For example, the life of bearings on an elevator chain. This task requires the bearings to be removed and visually inspected. This is done by prizing the bearing from the chain link and done with the aid of a screwdriver. A tick box will be provided to ensure the task has been performed, and additional notes space used to ascertain replacement requirements. This will be an ongoing record that can be matched against previous checks and used as a reference to determine the life of the items in question.

Inspection procedures are very important because if the inspection is not recorded or followed correctly, then the full scope of the inspection is not complete. By documenting the inspection, a checklist can be compiled and used as a procedure. This checklist will detail the inspection points with a tick box and space for additional notes. The checklist should coincide with the routine maintenance tasks.

Under LOLER regulations, mobile elevation work platforms are to be inspected every six months. Within this report, I will compile an inspection procedure that will be used by the main user of the MEWP. This in-house inspection should be done at regular intervals, preferably weekly, with additional checks if the scissor lift is hired from a rental company. These checks should include all the items that would be inspected by an independent inspector in a thorough examination, only in less detail. This will enable defects to be rectified before a statutory inspection, thus improving the safety of the scissor lift between thorough examinations.

8.3. Reporting Defects and Malfunctions

If the operator has identified a defect or a malfunction in the MEWP, they should report the details to their supervisor or employer as soon as possible. It should then be entered into the equipment’s logbook and be recorded as being ‘not in service’. The data should include the machine serial number, the nature of the defect or malfunction, any implications it could have on safety, and the date and signature of the person reporting it. Once the above has been done, the machine should not be returned to service until the defect or malfunction has been rectified. It is important that a competent person carries out the repair. This should be someone who has the necessary knowledge, training, and experience to carry out the work safely and without risk to health. If the repair work that requires taking the MEWP out of service is going to take longer set limit (e.g., half a day, ten working days), the employer should inform the rental or leasing company of the situation and make arrangements for a replacement machine, noting the current status (e.g., IPAF Cat 3a or 3b training may be required) and operator manual requirements, to ensure that the most suitable alternative is provided.

9. Recap and Review

To improve the quality of work in MEWP operations and promote the professional and legal status of the industry, the Aerial Platform Industry work group has developed and implemented a suite of advanced programs. This enables those with differing levels of experience in different disciplines to show competency and understanding, and these disciplines are specific to their role: Aerial Lift Operator, MEWP supervisor, and MEWP Inspector.

Behavior is the manner in which you have to act. We want to maintain a code of professional conduct by showing respect and consideration to all concerned by our actions.

Quality is achieved by understanding your responsibilities to the machine, company, and your fellow employees. This means doing what’s right by operating the machine in accordance with the regulations, so as not to do any damage of any kind to the surroundings or by putting anyone at unnecessary risk. This is done by exploring the quality concept in relation to how things are done and identifying the possible effects on direct and indirect stakeholders. This is best described using Watson and Corrady (2007) Proximate Professional Cause (PPC) model. Doing what’s right can be confirmed by considering if the job would be redone if supervision was present or if it would be okay if the supervisor watched the work without hidden. PPC advocates that a worker should only take action if it has no harmful effects, even remote, to people, property, or the environment and that its condition be a valid one. This is the appropriate connection between cause and effect. High-quality work can take more time and effort, significant to direct stakeholders, often greater value, and with safer, longer-lasting results.

At the end of the training course, delegates will recap and review the information learned throughout the duration of the course. This will ensure delegates have a strong understanding of the information and how it applies to their new responsibilities to their machine, company, and fellow employees. This helps reinforce learning outcomes and improves retention. Quality – a set of behaviors that sustain an environment of integrity through doing what’s right, understanding the system, and adhering to the processes that exist around the operation. Quality work demonstrates a professional responsibility to all those involved or affected by what has been done.

9.1. Summary of Key Concepts and Skills

The most important points to remember when using a mobile elevated work platform are: Always check the machine is suitable for the job it will be used for, and the ground conditions in the area of work. Carry out pre-start safety and maintenance checks. Training in the ‘daily maintenance check’ will cover this point. Only use the machine for the purpose it was designed for. This will be covered during familiarisation training. Always follow the manufacturer’s manual and instructions. Training sessions on familiarisation and completion of tasks will cover this point. Know the safe working load for the machine. This information should be found on the machine’s data plate. Use the platform safety features provided. Regular training in MEWPs will cover this point. Never override the safety features of a MEWP. This will be covered during familiarisation training.

9.2. Q&A Session

This final session gives delegates the opportunity to clarify any points previously learned throughout the duration of the course. A series of learning outcomes will be discussed with the group to ensure each delegate has gained sufficient knowledge to achieve these by the end of the session. A 10-question multiple-choice assessment will also take place, with each correct answer bringing the delegate closer to achieving CPCS accreditation. This informal method of assessment often provides the group with an understanding of the areas of the course where they might need to go over again. On conclusion of this assessment, an open Forum Q&A will take place. This often highlights areas of the course which are unclear to each individual and gives the instructor an opportunity to teach these areas again using a different method or approach. All questions will be answered with an unbiased opinion, often through knowledge gained in the industry and not just by the instructor. This can then lead onto teaching stories or experiences from the instructor, all of which can be valuable knowledge to the delegate. In general, Q&A can bring a course together so the group can all learn as a whole from common mistakes or misconceptions. On completion of the CPCS A25 MEWP course, a general course review will take place to ensure all delegates have enjoyed and gained the knowledge that they expected when enrolling in the course. Feedback, both positive and negative, will be documented in order to make improvements for further courses. This can be completed by submitting any CPCS course evaluation form to ensure that your comments can allow Accredited Training to provide a better quality course in the future.

9.3. Course Evaluation and Feedback

Evaluation of the course and the instructor is a very important step in our goal to improve our courses. There are 2 main reasons why we endorse student feedback. Firstly, we want to know what elements of the course the students found most beneficial, so that we make sure we don’t change it. The second reason that we want to receive constructive feedback regarding aspects of the course that students feel could be improved, so that we can take positive steps to meet those needs. You have been given a feedback form with 12 specific questions, designed to assess the presentation of the course, the instructor, and the course content. This will give us valuable feedback regarding to what extent the course met your learning needs. This form should take no more than ten minutes of your time to complete. Please return it no later than the last day of the course. Your instructor would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for participating in this crucial aspect of the course, which is to ultimately improve the learning experience for future participants.