Your complete EWP pre-start checklist

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Worksite safety checks aren’t just about ticking boxes. They’re your main defence against potential incidents, injuries, or project complications. These inspections are a golden opportunity to uncover hidden hazards and thoroughly assess any risks.

With that in mind, they must be carried out regularly, if not daily, to maintain and uphold a safe work environment. Building on our previous discussions about the different types of EWP inspections and the importance of 10-year inspections, this blog will focus on the daily pre-operational or pre-start checks of EWPs.


What is a pre-start checklist?

An EWP pre-start checklist or pre-operational inspection is a visual and functional check performed before using EWP equipment. It’s a way to catch potential issues that could pose risks – from obvious damages to subtle operational faults.


How often does it need to be done?

Before you start each shift or use a piece of equipment, you need to go through an EWP pre-start checklist. This ensures any issues from the last use are identified and corrected before the equipment is operated again. These regular or daily checks are essential for maintaining the ongoing safety and reliability of the equipment.


Who performs the daily checks?

The EWP pre-start inspection is performed by someone who knows the equipment well, typically the operator. Their familiarity with the specific EWP model and hands-on experience positions them as the most competent person for the task.

In some cases, particularly for more complex or specialised equipment, a trained technician or safety officer may also be involved in the inspection process so all aspects of the equipment are thoroughly evaluated.


Elevated Work Platform Safety Checklist

Below is a structured guide on what to include in your pre-operational EWP inspection and the subsequent inspection report. Remember, this checklist is not exhaustive; always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for a comprehensive inspection.


1. Visual inspection

Cracks, distortion, or wear: Look for any visible defects on the EWP’s structure that may compromise its integrity. Pay particular attention to high-stress areas and components.


2. Operational checks

Adjustable components: Verify that all adjustable parts (e.g., levers, controls) are set within their recommended ranges to ensure they function correctly under operating conditions.

Operation: Test all mechanical and hydraulic systems to see if they operate smoothly without unexpected noises or resistance.

Control return: Make sure that all controls revert to their neutral or off position once released, a critical safety feature to prevent unintended operations.

Interlock systems: Test safety interlocks to ensure they engage and disengage correctly, preventing operation under unsafe conditions.


3. Cleanliness

Debris: The platform and controls should be clean, with no debris or materials that could obstruct use or compromise safety.

Slippery surfaces: Ensure all work surfaces, especially the platform and steps, are dry, not slippery and free from oil or grease.


4. Leak and fluid checks

Fluid leaks: Inspect for any signs of hydraulic oil, fuel, or other fluid leaks, which could indicate wear or damage to hoses and connections.

Fluid levels: Check that hydraulic fluid, engine oil, and other necessary fluids are at proper levels and within the specified range.

Lubrication: Check all moving parts are adequately lubricated.


5. Components and attachments

Locking devices: Pins and other locking devices should be securely in place to prevent accidental disengagement during operation.

Hoses and cabling: Check that hydraulic hoses and electrical cables are securely attached, not frayed or damaged, and properly routed to avoid pinch points.

Wires: Make sure there is no loose wiring or connections.


6. Tyres and mobility

Tyre pressure: Ensure tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure (for pneumatic tyres) or are solid tyres.

Tyre condition: Make sure tyres are in good condition with no significant damage or wear that could affect stability.


7. Electrical and power

Battery charge: Confirm that batteries are fully charged and in good condition, ensuring reliable operation of electrically powered components.


8. Control systems

Override functions: Verify that ground control functions can override platform controls if necessary, a vital safety feature in emergency situations.

Emergency systems: Test the function of all emergency controls, including the emergency stop and retrieval systems.


9. Safety features

Guard rails and gates: Inspect the integrity and security of guard rails and any self-closing gates to ensure they will protect operators from falling.

Safety and informational signage: Check that all decals, warning signs, operator manuals, and logbooks are present, legible, and accessible and provide essential safety information and operation instructions.


10. Pre-operational inspection report

The inspection report should include the following:

  • Components to be inspected and function tested – an indication that the components have been tested.
  • Any defects identified and action undertaken.
  • Date of inspection and the signature of the competent person.


Keep your EWP in check with All Star

Don’t skip those EWP daily inspections – they’re your best bet for catching any underlying or unsafe issues. If you need help making sure everything is up to scratch, All Star Access Hire knows EWPs inside and out. Get in touch with our experienced team for access hire services in Melbourne and Geelong.