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Accident log shows rise in mobile platform deaths

Accident log shows rise in mobile platform deaths

2 September 2013 Email this article

There were 28 fatalities worldwide involving mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) in the first half of 2013, according to figures from the IPAF accident database.

The number was 65% up on the same period last year, though this is likely to be because  more data was captured. While the main causes of fatalities were fairly evenly spread in the first half of 2012, the first half of 2013 saw a rise in the number of fatalities resulting from overturn and fall from height.

The main causes of these fatalities were: overturning (accounting for 10 deaths), fall from height (9), entrapment (5), electrocution (3), and impact with a MEWP (1).

Thirteen of the fatalities involved booms, 10 involved scissor lifts, and three involved vehicle mounts. In two cases, the machine type was unknown.

Of these fatalities, 13 occurred in the USA, two each in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, and one each in Armenia, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, Norway, Spain and the UAE.

"Findings from IPAF's rental market reports lead us to estimate that there are more than one million MEWPs in the world," said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. "Every fatality is one too many, but these figures show that powered access equipment remains a safe way to carry out temporary work at height."

"The accuracy of the data relies upon those using MEWPs and other interested parties to report any known fatal accidents to IPAF at www.ipaf.org/accident or to an IPAF member of staff," said IPAF technical officer Chris Wraith. "The comprehensiveness of the data cannot be guaranteed, but where appropriate, action is taken to verify the facts. The data is updated should relevant information become available."

For more information go to www.ipaf.org/accident.