The New BS 8460:2017 Code of practice for the Safe use of MEWPs
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Safety advice notice: 54
January 2018

Brian Parker, our Business Development Manager, Technical Support, is the sub group Chairman of IPAF's 'Spread the Load' working group, which is working under the direction of the IPAF UKCC (UK Country Council).

He has now been tasked with updating the IPAF guidance to bring clarity and standardisation to the industry.

His work will also involve ensuring that the guidance also considers wheeled and tracked MEWPs.

What is a Code of Practice (CoP) and how could it affect you?

So firstly it’s worth noting that a CoPis not law. It is essentially a set of written rules which explain how people working in a particular profession should behave. But before you stop reading, be mindful that the BS 8460:2017 CoPwas written and revised by a team of industry experts and within that group was a leading member of the UK’s HSE (Health & Safety Executive).

So if, for example, you have serious incidents with MEWPs on your site or location, you can rest assure that the Police and HSE could use the contents of the code, or part of it, to potentially build a prosecution case against you.

Why has it changed?

The original document was published in 2005 and I trust that those who have read and used it would agree that it was a worthwhile document to enable them to prepare and plan MEWP operations. However, MEWPs have changed in design and technology quite considerably and there has also been considerable new industry guidance.

What is covered?

The new BS 8460:2017 CoPbuilds on the original 2005 standard and also takes into account changes in legislation and changes to MEWP design requirements outlined in BS EN 280.

Since the original CoPwas drafted in 2005 there has been a myriad of guidance documents produced by various groups and committees. It is worth noting that some of these have been referenced, and in some cases signposted, to the original document.

The new code has now introduced definitions for 'user', 'primary guarding', 'secondary guarding' and deck-riding machines. It also includes recommendations for the selection, renting, positioning, maintenance and thorough examination of aerial work platforms. But more importantly, it provides recommendations for their safe use, including the selection and training of operators and other competent personnel, and also gives an example of a rescue plan.

Why should you use this standard?

Working at height needs to be taken very seriously because falls are still among the most common cause of death at work in the UK. The new code focuses on current best practice in the use of MEWPs and is the result of 18 months of development and industry consultation.

Following the introduction of new technology that has changed machine design, safety and working practices, major changes included in the code are:

  • - New safe use requirements taking into account the latest edition of BS EN 280
  • - Enhanced recommendations for the risk management process
  • - New sub clauses for loading and unloading MEWPs and for operating MEWPs near sources of electromagnetic radiation in telecommunications
  • - Added recommendations for identifying the implications of new safety features on machines, such as telematics, data logging, load sensors, material handling devices and machine security
  • - New recommendations for the prevention of falls while carrying out maintenance on the machine chassis/structure, the prevention of entrapment, and the operation of secondary guarding
  • - Changes to reflect recent changes in legislation, e.g. the Construction Design and Manufacturing (CDM) Regulations 2015, and the replacement of HSE guidance CIS 58 with GEIS6, which references BS 8460
  • - References given to various guidance documents from the Strategic Forum for Construction, Plant Safety Group on ground conditions, medical fitness to operate construction plant, avoiding trapping/crushing injuries, and inspection and thorough examination
  • - New definitions for "primary guarding", "secondary guarding", "user" and "deck-riding"
  • - New informative annexes giving guidance on symbols for MEWPs, machine modifications, CE marking, and controls
  • - New normative annex on self-familiarisation
  • - New annex giving an example of a rescue plan hierarchy
So to summarise, the new CoP is a huge improvement on the previous version and anyone who purchases this from BSI is sure to benefit. Ensuring that you remain legal in today’s litigious health and safety world is crucial.
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