MEWP’s Explained

15 Jul 2014, by Anthony in MEWP Training News

Mobile Elevating Work Platform is a term preferred by The International Powered Access Federation; the world authority in powered access.

These elevated work platforms are essential for work that is performed all over the world. The most common term is MEWP. Other terms commonly used are (AWP) for Aerial Work Platform and the preferred term of North America and (EWP) for Elevating Work Platform which is the common term in Australia.

Power Source Indicator

Whichever term is used the description is that of an elevated machine that requires an external power source which is usually electrical or mechanical. Scissor lifts and bucket trucks are examples of machines that require an external power source. They have the operating controls on board but the controls can only be used if they are powered by the external source which in this case would be the machine engine that powers the battery that powers the controls.

There are other elevated work platforms that do not require an external power source and therefore do not fall into the same category as MEWP’s.  Scaffolding and ladders would be an example of elevated work platforms that do not require an external power source. This type of machine is assembled and maneuverers into position manually. They may have manual controls allowing an operator to provide the power. A more labour intensive example is a tower which must be manually assembled and placed.

Simply put MEWP’s are externally powered machines. A manually powered machine that does not require external power is not an MEWP.

Vertical and Boom describe the two types of MEWP’s. Vertical of course lifts the operator above the machine. A scissor lift is an example of a Vertical MEWP.  Boom not only lifts the operator above the machine but will also extend him beyond it. An example of a boom MEWP is a bucket truck, sometimes called a cherry picker.

MEWP Sub-categories

Each of these categories have sub categories. Those two subcategories are static and mobile. If it is a static the MEWP is not mobile while the platform is elevated and may need stabilisers to keep the chassis immobile.  If the MEWP is mobile then the machine is self-propelled and can be moved at will while the platform is elevated.

The simple description of a MEWP is a machine that has a work platform with controls, a chassis and an extending structure. It is necessary for working safely at heights.


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