REGULATIONS’ CORNER – “AWP on Building sites” – A book dedicated to safety

The Italian organization INAIL has recently published the book “AWP on building sites” regarding the use of aerial work platforms in temporary or mobile sites.

The publication represents the final document drawn up by a working group established by INAIL Regional Directorate of the Marche, the region of central Italy that overlooks the Adriatic coast. The working group saw the contribution of qualified and authoritative professionals belonging to INAIL and technical managers from private or public safety sector.

IPAF, the non-profit organization bringing together manufacturers, distributors, rental companies, users and training company, was invited to join the working group and Ipaf delegated Mauro Potrich.

The objective of the working group was to provide an effective contribution to the prevention of accidents at work whereas for the execution of work at height on construction sites is becoming increasingly widespread the use of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP) as an alternative to traditional scaffolding, bridges on wheels or the stairs.
The types of machines offered by the market and also available for hire are numerous and can have very different characteristics that must be taken into account for the purpose of use in conditions of safety and the prevention of accidents along with other factors such as the characteristics of ‘working environment and the types of work to be performed.
Many of these elements, if not properly considered and evaluated, can cause serious injury or death.

The working group, therefore, during their meetings identified specific issues to be developed regarding the safe use of AWP in order to provide the companies and their technicians and coordinators for safety using these equipments and to all the actors of the security with a focus on the construction sector a useful tool to support the management of these types of work equipment increasingly common on construction sites.

The work carried out has been reflected in specific chapters of the book. Firstly, legislative and regulatory aspects have been discussed starting from the construction requirements with reference to the Machinery Directive and the UNI EN280 and aspects relating to the obligations of the employer regarding the checks, maintenance, periodic checks and operator training in charge of operating.

Also discussed and developed was that the hire of mobile elevating work platforms in view of the fact that many platforms used in construction are not the property of the contracting companies but rent without operator or with operator with different responsibilities that involve the lessee and the lessor.

All this along with all other aspects analyzed by the working group and collected in the final document such as the types of machines, the selection criteria, the factors to be taken into account in the risk assessment, business practices and how to use in security and emergency management, as well as become a useful volume entitled “PLE is on building” was the subject of a conference organized last 9th of October in Ancona.

The conference was organized by INAIL inviting speakers such as the members of the working group and authors publication and was attended by large group of entrepreneurs in the sector, coordinators for safety, officials from national agencies in charge of safety regulations.

Great was the success and so many requests for participation that INAIL decided to repeat the conference in two other issues taking place in November and early December.