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IPAF calls for secondary guarding, not anti-entrapment, on MEWPs

The International Powered Access Federation is calling for ‘anti-entrapment’ devices to be renamed to reduce the risk of MEWP operators becoming complacent.

IPAF said it wants the devices to be known as ‘secondary guarding’ at the first meeting of the re-established MEWP Safety Sub-Group under the Strategic Forum for Construction Plant Safety Group (SFCPSG).

In a written proposal, IPAF technical officer Chris Wraith said: “The term ‘anti-entrapment’ devices is, in the vast majority of cases, factually incorrect.

“Most additional equipment or devices are only activated once a person has become trapped and forced against pressure sensing equipment or devices, which stop further movement of the platform and activate visual and audible alarms to alert others that the operator has become trapped.

“Furthermore, using the term ‘anti-entrapment’ is thought to encourage complacent behaviour. MEWP operators wrongly believe that an ‘anti-entrapment’ device will prevent any overhead crushing or entrapment. They become reliant on the device and less vigilant of their responsibilities and working environment.”

Prolift Access runs an extensive range of IPAF safety courses for MEWP operators. To find out more, click on the link – Prolift Access training courses information

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