Guidance on mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP)

What is a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP)?

A mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) is any device (telescoping, articulating, or any combination of these) that is capable of running over a supporting surface without the need for fixed runways and/or vertical or horizontal restraining connections to lift personnel, equipment and materials to and from workplaces located above a support surface.

This definition of a MEWP is only concerned with the function, not how a MEWP is configured or where it is used.

Note: This definition is derived considering definitions of related equipment in the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995.

For definitions of related equipment, refer to Part 6 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995.

What is a multi-purpose MEWP?

A multi-purpose MEWP is any telescopic handler machine (THM), integrated tool carrier (ITC) or other multi-purpose mobile plant that can be configured with jib attachments for lifting suspended loads, work platform attachments for lifting personnel, or other tools.

When multi-purpose mobile plant is fitted with a work platform attachment then it needs to be compliant for this function. The legislation makes no distinction between machinery designed for a single purpose or those designed to be multi-purpose.

Are MEWPs classified plant?

All types and sizes of MEWPs are defined as a type of hoist and considered to be classified plant.

What is itinerant equipment?

Any MEWP that is not owned by the principal employer (e.g. leased, hired, owned by contractors), or not permanently located at the mining operation, may be considered as ‘itinerant.’

All duty of care obligations and prescriptive regulations applicable to a permanently located MEWP at a mine site also apply to an itinerant MEWP.

Legislative requirements

The Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 (MSIA) and Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 (MSIR) legislate mining operations in Western Australia.

Minimum prescriptive rules and risk controls for MEWPs apply, including:

  • Compliance with Australian and New Zealand standard AS/NZS 1418.10 Cranes, hoists and winches – Mobile elevating work platforms.
  • Classified plant registration if the machine can lift people over 2.4 m, regardless of capacity utilized.
  • Minimum operator competency requirements.
  • Classified plant management requirements (inspection, testing, incident reporting and record keeping).

The same minimum prescriptive rules and risk controls apply for multi-purpose mobile plant as for single-purpose-designed plant.

Compliance with Australian and New Zealand standards

Compliance with the relevant parts of AS/NZS 1418 Cranes, hoists and winches is required under the MSIR. In addition to the general requirements for design of cranes, hoists and winches (including MEWPs), AS/NZS 1418 Part 10 Cranes, hoists and winches – Mobile elevating work platforms specifically covers design of MEWPs. Telescopic handlers are covered in AS/NZS 1418.19 Cranes, hoists and winches - Telescopic handlers

Compliance with AS 2550 Part 10 Cranes, hoists and winches – Safe use – Mobile elevating work platforms (which is not listed in the MSIA or MSIR) is recommended industry good practice. AS 2550.10 provides guidance on operational elements of MEWPs and recommends the following inspections, in addition to the maintenance regime outlined by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM):

  • pre-operational inspections
  • routine inspections
  • periodic inspections
  • enhanced periodic inspections
  • major inspection or repair

For specific requirements for design of MEWPs, refer to AS/NZS 1418.10 Cranes, hoists and winches – Mobile elevating work platforms

For general requirements for design of cranes, hoists and winches, refer to AS/NZS 1418.1 Cranes, hoists and winches – General requirements

For operational guidelines for cranes, hoists and winches, refer to AS 2550.10 Cranes, hoists and winches – Safe use – Mobile elevating work platforms

Classified plant registration requirements

Single and multi-purpose mobile plant that can lift people over 2.4 m, or has a telescoping boom (that can lift people any distance), requires classified plant registration. The registration applies for the design of the entire machine when it is configured with a work platform, not just for the work platform attachment.

A general exemption from provisions of 6.34(1) of the MSIR for the registration of certain classified plant has been in place since June 2010.  However, unless specific exemptions are issued by the registering authority, this does not alter the requirement for full compliance with AS/NZS 1418.10.

Refer to rr. 6.33(b) and 6.34 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995

For more information, refer to Applying for registration of classified plant

Minimum operator competency requirements

Operators of boom-type MEWPs (boom length 11 metres or greater) require a high risk work licence (HRWL) endorsed with license class ‘WP’. Scissor lifts do not require a HRWL.

Boom-type MEWP includes a telescoping device, hinged device or articulated device or any combination of these used to support a platform on which a personnel, equipment and material may be elevated to perform work.

Classified plant management requirements

Management requirements for registered classified plant include:

  • incident reporting
  • statutory inspection requirements by a Section 44 appointed competent person
  • keeping a classified plant record book

The statutory inspection requirements of MSIR Schedule 3 are in addition to the mandatory periodic inspection requirements of AS/NZS 1418.10 and the guidance provided in AS 2550.10.

For more information on record keeping requirements, refer to section 6.25 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995

For more information on the appointment of a Section 44 statutory inspector, refer to General exemption: Approval for a fit person to inspect classified plant [r.6.40(1) and r.6.40(3)]

For information on the classified plant administration audit, refer to the Classified plant management – audit guide

Contact

For enquiries please contact an inspector of mines
Phone: 1800SAFEMINE (1800 7233 6463)
Email: MinesSafety@dmirs.wa.gov.au