All aerial work platforms, regardless of type, have a maximum load that must not be exceeded.
Improper loading, overloading or unsecured loads can result in serious injury or death to personnel.
Follow our tips to correctly load your mobile elevating work platform!
Check the safe working load
The Safe Working Load (SWL) is the maximum load that the MEWP can safely carry. It corresponds to the combined weight of the operator, tools and materials contained in the basket. The safe working load is specified by the machine manufacturer, as well as the maximum number of people allowed in the platform. Before starting work, it is therefore necessary to refer to the load chart decals and the user’s manual of the machine.
Golden rules for a safe loading
- Accurately calculate the weight of all the items that will fit in the platform, so it does not exceed the rated capacity of the MEWP.
- Never place or store materials on the extensions, they are intended only for workers and their tools.
- The load must not rest or lean onto the guardrails.
- Materials and/or tools should never extend beyond the edges of the platform.
- Loads should be uniformly distributed across the platform.
- Always keep the platform tidy to minimize the risk of load falling.
- Secure the load properly to ensure that it stays within the confines of the platform.
- For loads with a large surface area, take into consideration the wind effect.
- Never disable the platform’s overload system. If the overload alarm activates, remove the overload immediately, if possible, before attempting to recover the machine.
- Make sure workers can handle any materials safely.
- Use extra lifting equipment to move materials to the work position, if needed.
The loading of people and equipment is a critical task. Exceeding the SWL may cause the machine to overturn or it may also damage the machine. A sudden increase or decrease in weight is also extremely hazardous. Uneven distribution of the load on the work platform could destabilize the machine. Always respect the load chart and follow the manufacturer’s guidance for its intended use.