IPAF issues guidance to minimize coronavirus risk
IPAF will also publish a free webinar that helps to explain the key principles and measures in more detail
Guidance has been issued by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) to assist those using mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), mast-climbing working platforms (MCWPs), construction lifts and hoists to work safely and minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus.
The new document has been developed and reviewed by IPAF's safety experts and members with specialist knowledge of health & safety best practice. It is centred on a hierarchy of risk, with guidance on how to mitigate possible exposure to the virus to help protect employees, colleagues, customers and users of powered access equipment.
The hierarchy is ranked from eliminating risk entirely, through reducing risk, isolating users from risk and controlling risk to protecting against risk through use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
In addition to the new guidance document, IPAF will publish a free webinar that helps to explain the key principles and measures in more detail. The webinar will be hosted by Health and Safety professional Chris Wraith and will be available to review afterwards.
"Ours is an industry founded on the principles of safe working and adopting best practice through sound risk assessment and mitigation. There's an increased risk at present posed by the spread of coronavirus and we must do everything we can to eliminate, reduce, control or protect against it," says Peter Douglas, IPAF's CEO & MD.
"Powered access equipment is key to conducting work at height safely, the services our members provide are of vital importance on construction sites, maintenance and infrastructure projects around the world. If powered access firms can't do this work, projects will be hampered and safety while working at height could be compromised.
"On construction sites, enhanced risk assessment, cleansing of machines, use of additional PPE such as face masks and visors, and using extra machines to allow a ‘one operator per platform' rule to maintain social distancing are all recommended. If contractors need to hire additional machines, it's important to only ask trained and familiarized operators to use the equipment and for work to be adequately supervised.
"Remember, it is very important not to use the virus as an excuse to cut corners on established principles of work at height safety. It is vital that employees are protected from risks associated with working at height at the same time as being mindful of the additional risk posed by coronavirus."