5 things to look for in an MEWP Thorough Examination

29 September 2021

Most operators of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) are mindful of their responsibilities in arranging regular safety inspections.

But far fewer are aware that many inspection providers use a generic checklist which fails to inspect components specific to MEWPs… potentially putting an employer on the wrong side of the law.

Here’s why.

The law states that under LOLER regulations, an MEWP should undergo a Thorough Examination at east every 6 months to ensure that equipment is not faulty and doesn’t pose a risk to staff.

Sounds straightforward, but many Thorough Examinations focus solely on LOLER, ignoring the PUWER component of the inspection, an omission that could lead to accidents, injuries, damage, downtime, disruption and possible prosecution.

“In some ways, an incomplete inspection is worse than none at all, as it could give a false sense of security,” explains Geoff Martin Chairman of Thorough Examination accrediting body CFTS.

“To help owners and operators of MEWPs meet their safety obligations and comply fully with the law, we have come up with 5 tips that will help them review their existing arrangements.”

5-point guide for effective MEWP Thorough Examinations

  1. Does your provider employ MEWP Thorough Examination documentation including a dedicated MEWP checklist created specifically for this kind of equipment? CFTS examiners never take a “once size fits all” approach to different types of workplace equipment. 
  2. Crucially, does the provider’s documentation meet the requirements of both LOLER and PUWER - i.e., does it cover important areas such as brakes and steering as well as the lifting gear (many don’t).
  3. Is your examiner both a ‘competent person’ and an experienced engineer? And do they carry the kit to check your MEWP thoroughly? (Including trolley jack, A-frame ladders and dedicated chain-gauge).
  4. Is your Thorough Examination fully and independently audited? Does the inspector undergo regular refresher training – so you can rest assured they are up to date with the latest legislation?
  5. Is your examiner able to minimise disruption to your operations? Many CFTS-accredited engineers are equipped to carry out repairs so, in the event of a fault, it can be fixed without delay, keeping you operational.

Importantly, with more than 600 depots nationwide, it is easy to find a CFTS-accredited examiner near you.