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Safety advice notice: 53
October 2017

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.

Why has None Road Mobile Machinery been introduced?

The Mayor of London has introducing new standards to reduce emissions of pollutants from construction and demolition activities and any associated equipment which is used on site.

The London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (LAEI) https://data.london.gov.uk/air-quality estimates that in 2010 the Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) used on construction sites was responsible for 12% of NOx emissions (nitrogen dioxide) and 15% of PM10 (particulate matter) emissions in Greater London.

Scale of the problem

To address London's poor air quality, the GLA (Greater London Authority) remain are looking to control the emissions from this equipment and from 1st September 2015 onwards by establishing emissions standards for London. The policy, is detailed in ‘The Control of Dust and Emissions during Construction and Demolition Supplementary Planning Guidance’ which was published in July 2014.

So what this means is that this is essentially the UK has the world’s first Low Emission Zone (LEZ) for non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) combining standards for both nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM).

Note: Diesel exhaust emissions have now been classified as being carcinogenic to humans based on evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.

So what are these new standards?

From 1st September 2015, NRMM of net power between 37kW and 560kW are required to meet the standards. The standards are applicable to both variable and constant speed engines and apply for both PM and NOx emissions.

1st September 2015

1.Major Development Site* -NRMM used on the site of any major development within Greater London will be required to meet Stage IIIA of the EU Directive 97/68/EC

2.Any development site -NRMM used on any site within the Central Activity Zone or Canary Wharf will be required to meet Stage IIIB of the EU Directive 97/68/EC

1st September 2020

1.Any development site -NRMM used on any site within Greater London will be required to meet Stage IIIB of the EU Directive 97/68/EC

2.Any development site -NRMM used on any site within the Central Activity Zone or Canary Wharf will be required to meet Stage IV of the EU Directive 97/68/EC

How do we know what constitutes a *major development site in Greater London?

Major developments are defined in the London Plan as residential developments of 10 dwellings or more (or, where the number is not given, 0.5 ha or more); and for all other uses, a floor space 1000 m2 or more or a site area 1 ha or more. The site area is that directly involved in some aspect of the development. Floor space is defined as the sum of floor area within the building measured externally to the external wall faces at each level. Basement car parks, rooftop plant rooms, caretakers’ flats etc. should be included in the floor space figure.

A map of London identifying the Inner London area and CAZ is below:

HSEQ MEWP London

So which engine is in my MEWP?

The only real fool-proof way of finding out if an engine meets the requirements is to check the engine serial plate. But before you go opening up engine canopies be aware that MEWP manufacturers do place engine serial plates in various positions. So before you set about finding the engine serial plates take care not to put any part of your body in a dangerous position* ensure:

  1. 1.The MEWP is parked in a safe place and in accordance with manufacturers manual
  2. 2. The MEWP is isolated and the engine and related components have properly cooled
  3. 3. Any parking brakes are engaged
  4. 4. Appropriate safety interlocks have been applied
  5. 5. Emergency stops are pushed in
  6. 6. MEWP operating keys have been removed
  7. 7. Wear appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) hand and eye protection as a minimum

*If necessary consult your appropriate Health and Safety department for appropriate risk controls and procedures.

The engine plate

There is one key digit in the type approval number that provides evidence of the emission level to which the engine was manufactured.

This is the method by which the surveillance authorities check the engine. There is also a second digit that can be used as an indicator as to whether the engine is type approved for variable or constant speed operations. The second digit is of importance because constant speed engine regulations in the EU are currently limited to stage IIIA (stage IIIB and IV constant speed engines do not yet exist)

Structure Engine Codes

MEWPs which are exempt

There are some MEWPs which have exemptions and these are:

  • - Any model of MEWP which currently have a stage IIIA or IIIB engine available
  • - MEWP which is in limited supply
  • - A MEWP which is only used intermittently for up to 30 days

In summary this means that MEWPs with engines with a net power of between 37kW and 560kW will be required to meet the standard. However many MEWPs will have engines fitted with an engine which is lower than this and therefore will not be affected.

With modern buildings you can see that they are being designed and built taller and this therefore requires larger machines, some MEWPs therefore will fall into the category of above 37kW.

As a general rule any diesel Skyjack scissor lift should be under the 37kW rating but as mentioned earlier the only hard and fast rule is to check the engine serial plate numbers

The IPAF UKCC (UK Country Council) have engaged with UK members to draw up a viability exemption request for MEWPs to ensure MEWPs are available for construction projects.

MEWP Examption