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Safety tips for aerial work platforms in tree care

July 13, 2016 | By Anthony Capkun

Photo courtesy IPAF.

July 13, 2016 – Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs, a.k.a. aerial work platforms, AWPs), are useful keeping T&D lines clear. That’s why the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has published safety tips for the use of MEWPs in tree-cutting to ensure operators work safely at height.

IPAF says statistics from its accident reporting project show about 1 in 5 of all MEWP-related fatalities involve tree care workers, despite MEWPs being among the safest means for temporary work at height, provided:

• a risk assessment is done
• managers and operators are properly qualified, trained and familiarized
• equipment is inspected and maintained
• safe use procedures are followed—including having a rescue plan

IPAF’s latest technical guidance analyzes some fatal incident reports, draws out the lessons learned, and provides safety tips for trained operators before, during and after tree care work.


The International Powered Access Federation is a not-for-profit members’ organization promoting the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide. Members include manufacturers, rental companies, contractors and users.

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