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New ’MEWP’ operator training course for safe working at height

RTITB has launched an updated Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) training course to ensure operators have the skills and knowledge to work safely and efficiently at height.

The Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA) categorises MEWPs, sometimes referred to as cherry pickers or access platforms, into 4 main groups; 1a, 1b, 3a and 3b, which classify the different capabilities of the machines. Machines can differ significantly in weight, height, dimension and capacity, and the operating environment can also vary significantly.

“For both safety and compliance, employers must ensure that operators undergo suitable and sufficient training for the machine type they are required to operate so we’ve re-developed this course to cover a wide range of vehicle mounted, scissor, telescopic and articulated machines plus the Crown Wave range,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director for RTITB.

“Other MEWP courses cover multiple machines in a short space of time,” Laura continues. “Our courses are slightly longer but focus on ensuring the trainee gets sufficient time to practise using the work platform so that they leave the course proficient in the use of a MEWP and ready to go on to Specific and Familiarisation training with their employer.”

The course includes an introduction to the machinery and its controls, machine stability, setting up the working area and working with site conditions. Environmental awareness, safe use of hydraulic systems, weight assessment, emergency actions and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are also covered.

“As MEWPs are commonly hired in for one-off tasks, pre-use inspections during the period of hire period are critical for safety, so the course covers this important area, plus how to prepare and secure the machine for transport,” says Laura.

The training can be delivered at an RTITB accredited training centre in the UK, Ireland and Gulf, or by qualified in-house Instructors by purchasing the ‘Instructor Guide for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms’. As with all RTITB trainers’ guides it includes both an extensive printed manual and USB stick containing helpful resources, theory test papers and a PowerPoint presentation so accredited organisations can be confident that Instructors are supported with everything they need to deliver compliant training.

The Instructors guide can be tailored for use with novices and experienced (but untrained) candidates, as well as for refresher or conversion training. Regardless, the new guide has been designed to ensure Instructors can deliver a thorough and detailed course which places the candidate at the heart of the training. Using different learning methods such as quizzes and discussions, to make learning as engaging and beneficial as possible for operators.

Laura says “MEWP operator training is needed for legal compliance, but also to ensure operators can keep themselves and their colleagues safe. This moral obligation will often supersede the legal demands for responsible employers.”

The new RTITB ‘Instructor Guide for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms’ is available now from

For more information, visit or call 01952 520203