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The Power in Access

The power in access


Powered access is a quick and easy way to erect steel frame buildings

Mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs) are perfect for accessing the steelwork during erection, i.e. to bolt-up or weld the pieces being lifted in by the crane.

MEWPs can also be used on the partly erected steelwork to erect lighter steel elements, provided special measures are taken to support the MEWP (e.g. steel sections to act as rails supported on the partly erected steel). Also, the steelwork will need to be checked to see if it can support the weight of the MEWP. 

The most serious hazards during steel erection are related to falls from height, either from working positions or while gaining access to them. The steelwork contractor's health and safety management system addresses the particular hazards and risks in steel construction as well as the normal range of issues when working on construction sites.

With proper management by a competent steelwork contractor, the risks can be removed or controlled. Under the requirements of the CDM Regulations, the principal contractor has overall responsibility for health and safety during construction, and this responsibility is effected through the Construction Health and Safety Plan (now known as the Construction Phase Plan).

More information can be found on The British Constructional Steelwork Association website 



It is important to ensure that prior to the commencement of any work that a risk assessment is carried out and that the work is suitably and sufficiently planned and managed. Before commencing, it is important to assess the following: 

  1. Is there adequate space available for safe access and working positions?
  2. Safe lifting and placing of steel components?
  3. Are the ground conditions and topography suitable/stable and is the structural adequacy of the part-erected structure stable?
  4. Is there adequate safe working distances from overhead services?
  5. Is the site access available/unrestricted?
  6. Are the wind speed, exposure and weather conditions suitable for use?
  7. Are the operatives adequately trained and proficient to undertake the tasks required?