Ultimate Jargon Buster: Guide to MEWP Terms

What is a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP)? What does IPAF stand for? What is LOLER? In this ultimate jargon buster, Horizon Platforms shares a list of commonly-used MEWP terms and what they mean to those new to the access platform industry. 

What is an Access Platform?

Access platform is a term used for a mechanical device that uses a movable platform, such as an aerial platform, boom lift, cherry picker and more. Access platforms provide temporary access to areas which are above ground level, allowing one or more individuals and their tools to safely complete work at height. 

What is an Aerial Work Platform?

An aerial work platform is another term for an access platform. An aerial work platform is a mechanical device that supplies access to any areas above ground level, commonly known as a cherry picker, boom lift, work platform, access platform, lift platform and more. When it comes to hiring an access platform for your job you will want to consider a few factors. Read here to find out more about hiring an aerial work platform. 

What is an Articulating Boom?

An articulating boom – also known as an articulated boom – is a type of MEWP with more than one boom connected via a knuckle. This is the most easily recognisable type of boom lift due to its distinctive shape. An articulating boom gives you length and reach, allowing you up-and-over access, as well as vertical reach.  

What is Bi-Energy Power?

The combination of two or more power sources to power one machine – allowing the operator to select and switch between them. This offers increased machine utilisation due to having greater flexibility. 

What is a Boom Lift?

A boom lift is another term for an access platform. A boom lift is a mobile, mechanical device that offers you access to areas that are not reachable from ground level. Boom lifts are commonly referred to as cherry pickers, work platforms, lift platforms, aerial work platforms or MEWPs. Contact us today for more information on our boom lifts. 

What is a Cherry Picker?

A cherry picker is a type of MEWP. It is a typical aerial work platform that has a hydraulic crane with a railed platform at the end for raising and lowering individuals to different heights. 

What is Harness? 

A safety harness is a lifting platform accessory that should be part of an MEWP operative’s PPE,  consisting of a series of webbing straps used in conjunction with a lanyard.

What Does Hire Mean? 

Hire means to obtain the temporary use of (something) for an agreed payment. Here at Horizon Platforms, we are a lead rental solutions provider in the access sector, offering access platforms to hire nationwide. Read the story of how we became one of the UK’s best providers of powered access rental solutions. 

What is Hybrid Power?

Hybrid power is an option that can simultaneously combine the use of battery and engine power automatically, optimising power output versus energy usage. Hybrid power reduces fuel consumption, pollution and running costs as the engine size needed to power the machine is reduced. 

What is a Hydraulic Hose?

A hydraulic hose is a means to transfer hydraulic oil to different parts of the MEWP to enable the lift and drive capabilities of the machine.

What is IPAF Training? 

IPAF stands for International Powered Access Federation, an accreditation body for training on powered access platforms. IPAF is an organisation that promotes the safe use of powered access platforms worldwide and represents the interests of manufacturers, users and rental and training companies. An IPAF accreditation is the best standard practice when operating MEWPs. 

What is IPAF Rental+? 

IPAF Rental+ is one of the best accreditations for powered access rental companies and is an independent quality mark that is awarded to member rental companies who have been audited to meet defined standards of customer service, safety, staff training and machine inspections. It supports risk management in MEWP hire and is industry driven. Gaining IPAF Rental + indicates that we possess ISO 9001:2015 quality systems, and achieve PAS 91:2013 pre-qualification standards.

What are Jacks?

Jacks are a mechanical lifting device. They allow a MEWP to be levelled and apply great forces or lift heavy loads.

What is a Lanyard?

A lanyard is a device to attach a harness to a suitable anchorage point. When completing access platform training you will be required to understand the safety of lanyards and harnesses to ensure you can operate a MEWP effectively and safely. For more information on MEWP training read our training guide

What does LOLER mean?

LOLER, also known as Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, are regulations that are in place to reduce the risk of injury from lifting equipment used at work and also used as a term covering the periodic examination of a MEWP. Here at Horizon Platforms, we pride ourselves on ensuring all regulations are met and have obtained the necessary accreditations and certifications to ensure our customers have full peace of mind when hiring or buying a MEWP from us. 

What is a MEWP?

MEWP stands for Mobile Elevating Work Platform, a term used to describe any form of powered access platform (scissor lift, boom lift, cherry picker etc). MEWPs are a mechanical device that provide temporary access for one or more individuals via a movable platform to an abundance of restricted areas

What is a  Narrow Access Platform?

Narrow access platforms are a type of MEWP designed to fit through a restricted opening. Narrow access platforms are ideal for fitting through tight spaces such as doors, or for conducting work within warehouses, racking installations and other working at height jobs. 

What is PASMA Training? 

What does PASMA stand for? PASMA stands for Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers Association. It is an accrediting body for training on mobile towers and other ancillary equipment. It offers a range of courses run by accredited training centres and instructors, aimed at anyone engaged in the assembly, use, inspection and dismantling of towers.

What Does PAV Mean? 

 A PAV is a push around vertical platform that is often used to lift individuals to lower levels which are too high to reach from the ground or via a ladder. PAVs are compact and easy to operate, as they can simply be manually pushed into place by an operator. 

What are Personnel Lifts?

Personnel lifts are mechanical machines that allow workers to reach a greater height than your average ladder. These work platforms are mobile and can extend up to 20 metres with ease. Horizon Platforms’ personnel lift fleet is available in a choice of working heights and gradients, providing a safe environment for completing a variety of tasks, from maintenance to installation.   

What is a Powered Access Platform?

‘Powered access platform’ is a different terminology to cover any type of MEWP. Powered access platforms have various uses for an abundance of industries.

What is PPE?

Known as personal protective equipment, PPE is required to protect yourselves and others when operating a variety of MEWPs. Operators have a duty to ensure the correct PPE is worn at all times when work is carried out to limit the chance of risks occurring.

What Does PUWER Mean?  

PUWER, also known as Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, require that users of work equipment, such as MEWPs, carry out a risk assessment and show that it is suitable for its intended use.

What is a Risk Assessment?

MEWPs come with many common risks and therefore a risk assessment is often needed to be carried out before MEWPs are used on site. A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people within your workplace. A risk assessment will help you weigh up whether there are enough control measures in place to minimise the chance of an accident occurring while operating the MEWP. 

What is a Scaffold Tower?

A scaffolding tower is a form of non-powered access made of prefabricated elements. They are a safer alternative to a ladder and allow workers to reach heights in any one section. 

What is a Scissor Lift? 

A scissor lift is a vertical lift with a criss-cross ‘scissor’ mechanism and is a type of MEWP that can usually only move vertically. They are ideal for undertaking maintenance, inspection, painting, decoration, construction and various other installation jobs at height. 

What is a Telescopic Boom? 

A telescopic boom can be extended hydraulically to increase its overall length. Movable machines with telescopic booms are more compact and easy to operate compared to ones with a fixed upper boom.

For more advice and expert knowledge on work-from-height access platforms, check out our news section

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