Mobile Elevating Work Platform Fatality Rate StagnatesEven though the number of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and aerial work platforms (AWPs) in circulation and the number of rental days for MEWPs active in industrial use have both increased, the fatality rate for injuries occurring on these platforms remained stable in calendar year 2015. The International Powered Access Foundation (IPAF) calculated the rates of fatalities, injuries and overall usage in a report titled “Powered Access Rental Market: The Latest Industry Data.”

According to this report, rented machines were operated 192.2 million cumulative work days and the number of reported fatalities from MEWP incidents was 68. This means that there was a fatal injury rate of 0.035 fatalities per day of usage. In 2014, the rate had been the same: MEWPs were rented for 182.4 million days and caused 64 fatalities, averaging 0.035 fatalities per rented day of usage.

In 2013, however, the rate had been higher. MEWPs were rented and in operation on 168.4 million accumulated days in that year, and the number of reported resultant fatalities was 68. This comes out to a fatal injury rate of 0.040 fatalities per rented day of usage.

The fatal injury rate that IPAF used for this data was calculated using the following factors:

  • Estimated rental fleet size, based on the IPAF Powered Access Rental Market Reports.
  • Estimated average utilization rates per country and worldwide (utilization rate is defined as the share of the fleet out on rent at any time over a year).
  • Average days worked per year (5 days a week for 50 weeks a year).
  • The number of fatalities involving MEWPs in a given year, based on the IPAF accident-reporting project.

In 2015, the 68 reported fatal injuries were mainly caused by overturn, falls from elevated height, electrocution and entrapment. Using this information, businesses and workplaces that use MEWPs regularly should be able to guard against future fatalities by modifying their health and safety program to include precautions against each of these possibilities.