Ontivity Resources

Mobile Elevated Work Platform Safety

New Braunfels, TX, April 24, 2024

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The term MEWP refers to equipment that was traditionally called manlifts or scissor lifts.  When it comes to the use of MEWPs, we are required to abide by guidelines set forth in the ANSI A92 series of standards.  There are 4 individual standards within the ANSI A92 series of standards that cover many aspects of design, maintenance, and operations of MEWPs. Several of the standards in the A92 series are incorporated by reference to OSHA regulations which means we are subject to citations for violations of the guidelines set forth in them. Before we get too far we have one small clarification for everyone.  The A92 series of standards covers more than just MEWPs, the entire series provides standards for a series of equipment related to aerial platforms.  Our discussion today is relative to the standards directly related to MEWPs. Bucket trucks are covered in the A92 series as well but have their own specific standard with some different requirements.  Today we will discuss 3 points intended to increase your knowledge of MEWP operations but more importantly decrease the incidents we have experienced in recent weeks.

  • Only operate a MEWP in safe conditions


The requirements for training when using MEWPs recently changed in the latest release of applicable ANSI standards.  The standards set specific training requirements for occupants, operators, and supervisors.  Occupants are required to be trained to have a basic knowledge to work safely in the MEWP.  This training in no way qualifies the occupant to operate the MEWP for standard operations but should cover emergency procedures in the event the fully trained operators cannot lower the device.  Supervisors that oversee MEWP operators are responsible for the selection of equipment and are required to receive at a minimum theoretical training for safe MEWP operations.  MEWP operators are required to have both theoretical and practical training before being authorized to operate MEWPs in production environments.  The completion of online training alone is against OSHA, ANSI, and company policy.  It is important to note that when using any type of MEWP that a fully trained operator is required to be on the ground and ready to take emergency actions if needed. Operators are subject to out of cycle retraining if deemed necessary by a supervisor or a member of the EHS team.


This topic is one that seems to always make its way into just about every safety call, so it must be a pretty important step.  The Ontivity digital JHA contains several statements to help you complete the inspection process.  If your customer requires you to use another JHA form, you can still use the list in our version as a resource.  Now for obvious reasons we can’t get into each item in great detail but there are a couple we wanted to take the time to remind everyone of.  All labels should be legible and not damaged.  Labels on older units can be riddled with paint so keep that in mind.  Guardrails should not be damaged.  Make sure to check switches that are spring loaded, these functions are in place for good reason and must operate properly.  Check all hoses and look for any leaks.  One last thing to check is all MEWPs must have a manufacturer’s operating manual and ANSI Manual of Responsibilities in an undamaged weatherproof container.  Any noted issues must be reported immediately to your supervisor and/or rental provider.  Additionally, the MEWP cannot be used until all issues are corrected.  As I mentioned at the start of this topic, we only brushed the surface when it comes to items to inspect if you need more information, please “Make the Call”. 


There are many conditions that could be hazardous when it comes to the safe operations of any type of MEWP.  Overhead beams in buildings, uneven or soft ground, steep inclines, overhead electrical lines, and even speed bumps can be big problems if not taken into consideration when operating a MEWP.  Today we are going talk a bit deeper about one that many take for granted, and this is wind.  For starters, MEWPs shall not operate in wind speed conditions beyond the maximum allowed by the manufacturer. No modifications or additions to the MEWP that affect its wind loading or its stability shall be made without the manufacturer’s approval.  Care shall be taken when handling materials which could act as sails.  This includes items like stealth panels or oversized antennas. The shielding and funneling effects of structures can cause high wind speeds and turbulence on days when wind speeds in open areas are low.  It is important to check weather reports prior to using a MEWP. Some conditions could warrant the use of handheld monitors to determine wind speeds. If you are unsure of the maximum allowed operating winds speeds for a specific unit, check the manual that is required to accompany the lift.

We could be here for several hours going thru the ends and outs of operating a MEWP safely. We didn’t cover items like PPE, not exceeding weight limits, or keeping off the guardrails but that doesn’t mean they are not important.  In some parts of the country MEWPs are used on a regular basis and it’s very easy to become complacent when operating them.  In other parts of the county, they are not used very often so it’s easy to forget the small stuff.  In either situation, MEWP safety is not to be taken lightly, the smallest mistake could lead to big problems.

If you would like more information on this topic or any other safety-related topic, please reach out to the Ontivity safety team at safety@ontivity.com, and we will get you taken care of. 

1820 Watson Lane East, New Braunfels, Texas 78130, United States

(830) 302-2330

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