There were 17 fatal accidents worldwide involving mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), also known as aerial work platforms (AWPs), in the first half of 2012, according to preliminary results of IPAF’s accident database. The causes of these accidents were fairly evenly spread: electrocution (4), overturn (4), mechanical related (4), fall from platform (4) and entrapment (1). Seven accidents involved vehicle mounts (1b), six involved booms (3b), and three involved scissor lifts (3a). In one accident, the machine type was unknown. Of these accidents, 11 occurred in the United States, two in the United Kingdom, and one each in Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Spain.

Presenting these findings, IPAF technical officer Chris Wraith stressed that the results are preliminary and encouraged all manufacturers, rental companies, contractors, and users to report all known fatal and serious accidents involving MEWPs and AWPs worldwide at www.ipaf.org/accident.

“MEWPs and AWPs offer a safe and effective way to work at height, and we are collecting accident data in order to determine the main causes of the few accidents that happen,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “Data collected is kept confidential and will enable us to analyze any trends and make recommendations for improving safety.”

More than 30 IPAF member companies have signed a voluntary pledge to report all known accidents of their company involving MEWPs and AWPs. To see and sign the pledge, and to report accidents, go to www.ipaf.org/accident.