Why MEWPs May Move Uncontrollably

People undergoing training to get an elevating work platform (EWP) licence are taught several crucial procedures. One of those procedures is how to prevent a mobile elevating work platform from suddenly moving from the place where it has been parked or set up. This article discusses some of the factors that may lead to such a dangerous eventuality of a mobile elevating work platform moving from its location while workers are using it.

Wrong Positioning of Wheels

Prospective operators of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) may be taught the correct way to park the equipment once it reaches the jobsite. This correct parking usually involves making sure that the braked wheels (the wheels onto which the brakes of the EWP are located) are on the higher side of a sloped location. The outriggers can then support the steer wheels so that both sets of wheels are level. Trainees are usually taught how to identify the braked wheels and the steer wheels on the different EWPs that they would like to operate.

The training can help you to know the risks associated with randomly parking the equipment without paying attention to the position of different wheels. This can save you from making that mistake when you eventually get your licence and start working.

Loose Surface Slopes

The EWP may also move from its position in case you parked it on a slope with a loose surface, such as on fill dirt that has not been compacted adequately. The outriggers or wheels of the equipment may fail to get the needed traction to keep the platform steady. The result of that instability is that the EWP will suddenly move down the slope.

Ignoring the Grade Rating

Manufacturers of elevating work platforms usually stipulate the maximum grade of a slope or ramp onto which the EWP can safely be manoeuvred. Accidents can occur when a EWP is moved up a ramp or surface whose slope exceeds what that equipment was designed to manage. These insights will help you to be mindful about the different slopes and ramps that you attempt to move an elevating work platform onto.

As you can see, many of the reasons that can cause the mobile elevating work platform to slide down from a ramp or slope are connected to an improper assessment of the ground conditions before positioning the MEWP. Avoid such problems by asking as many questions as you can during the EWP licence training. Those questions will help you to learn what is required to avoid EWP accidents at the jobsite.