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The Dangers of Elevating Work Platforms

In the last ten years ten workers have lost their lives, and numerous others have been left with life altering injuries, from incidents involving the use of mobile elevated work platforms (EWPs), in Victoria.

Many more, across the nation, have also been seriously or fatally injured from the use of EWPs.

WorkSafe Victoria has published the industry standard for Elevating Work Platfo­­­rms in an attempt to combat the issue on work sites.

Who is the standard for?

The industry standard is for operators of mobile elevated work platforms (EWPs) and persons, such as employers, who have responsibilities managing hazards and risks associated with the operation and use of EWPs.

What are the EWP types?

There are many different types of EWPs available in the industry today. Many have been designed for specific applications or for use in environments with specific constraints.

EWPs can be vehicle-mounted, self-propelled, towed or moved by hand and used to access work above or below ground level.


  • For operating on flat, solid surfaces or rough terrain surfaces depending on the design

Vertical mast lift

  • Mainly used on flat solid surfaces. Manually operated or mechanical units


  • Mainly used in the electrical or arborist industries. Other common names include bucket truck and cherry picker

Self-propelled boom lift

  • For driving on flat solid surfaces, rough terrain surfaces and hard to reach places. Other common names include knuckle boom, straight stick and cherry picker


  • For accessing hard to reach places. Commonly called a cherry picker

What does the industry standard for EWPs contain?

It provides practical advice on the selection and safe use of EWPs, and incorporates the latest technologies and initiatives that assist industry to control the hazards and risks commonly associated with use of EWPs.

It includes advice on:

  • Who has duties
  • EWP selection, planning and safe work practices
  • Training, competency and licencing
  • Harnesses inspection and use
  • Emergency procedures
  • Electrical hazards
  • Crushing hazards
  • Overturning hazards
  • Water hazards
  • Falling objects
  • Collision hazards
  • Environmental hazards

More information:

Find out more information and download the standard by visiting:

Hardcopies of the Industry Standard (A5 size) can be ordered, please email [email protected] to request a copy & remember to provide your mailing address.

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