Most job sites today require some form of elevating system, most commonly either scaffolding or mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs). Scaffolding is the long-standing choice for many contractors but MEWPs offer many advantages from lower worker fatigue and specialized safety features. In the dynamic environment of today, it’s important to weigh the benefits of adapting to technological advances. So, we’ve put together a quick list of some of the major benefits of replacing everyday scaffolding with modern MEWPs.
One of the best reasons to convert from scaffolding to a MEWP is basic arithmetic. The less time your workers have to spend assembling, climbing up while carrying tools/supplies and navigating around scaffolding, the more time, energy and productivity is focused on getting the actual project done. MEWPs allow workers to access the desired area in less time, without having to manually hoist supplies, in an energy-conserving manner. According to work studies cited in an article on Genie’s Aerial Pros site, work completed using lifts versus scaffolding required less time and less workers. Types of jobs studied included: wall surface cleaning, pillar painting and lighting maintenance. That’s why improved efficiency is one of the top reasons production managers should consider making the switch to MEWPs.
Another excellent reason to switch from scaffolding to MEWP use is the simple fact that access to required areas is comprehensive. There’s a MEWP for every terrain and jobsite. Whether it be a rough terrain boom lift or a slab scissor lift, there’s a machine for every project. MEWPs don’t require ties to a structure for stability and allow for precise positioning, flexibility and improved access to work areas: bolstering productivity and efficiency. Comprehensive and wide-ranging access is just another reason to consider making the switch from scaffolding today.
Falls are one of the most common workplace hazards, especially for the construction industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). That being said, the inspection, procedures and installation related to scaffolding and MEWPs are seriously applied. MEWPs provide certain safety features that scaffolding does not. MEWPs provide guardrail systems which are meant to support fall protection measures and differ from scaffolding in that it provides safety that moves with the operator/occupants. Lanyard attachments and inspection/operation procedures are provided by manufacturers and, if followed, support the safety of workers. That’s why safety is another reason to consider making the switch to MEWPs, today.