RENTAL TIPS: Use MEWPs safely in tree care

Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), also known as aerial work platforms (AWPs), are a popular tool in the arboriculture and tree care industry. IPAF has published safety tips for the use of MEWPs in tree cutting to ensure that operators work safely at height.

Statistics from IPAF’s accident reporting project show that approximately one in five of all MEWP-related fatalities involve tree care workers. Yet MEWPs are one of the safest means for temporary work at height, provided that a risk assessment is done, managers and operators are properly qualified, trained and familiarised, equipment is inspected and maintained, and safe use procedures are followed, including having a rescue plan.

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

“Whether you are a professional tree worker or a hobby gardener, if you are using a MEWP to work at height, make sure that you complete formal recognised operator training for the correct use of this specialist equipment,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman.

IPAF’s guidance for the tree care industry is available in several languages and can be downloaded from the Publications/Technical Guidance section of