The Ten Year Test is particularly relevant when buying Pre-owned EWPs. AS2550.10 clearly states that an EWP must be Ten Year Tested in accordance with the standard which, in practice requires the EWP to be stripped down, and all relevant structural welds x-rayed.
For example on a 60’ (18.2m) Boom Lift this can mean an additional outlay of $25000 to $40000 depending on machine type, age, history and location. Then it all has to be repeated five years later!!
Meeting AS1418 is law in Australia and meeting AS2550 is in the process of being incorporated into legislation in most States. Where not specifically included in regulations all OH&S Authorities regard adherence to the Standards as a minimum requirement.
WHAT TO CHECK FOR IN ASSESSING AN EWP
- Check the Compliance Plate matches what it is advertised. eg. platform height, date of manufacture, model type, serial number.
- Check the EWPs maintenance history including retrofits, safety upgrades etc.
- Check the operational instructions are available and Decals in place and legible.
- Check the Ten Year Test requirement – if completed sight the Major Inspection Checklist that willconfirm who did the testing in Australia and their qualifications. Also check who carried out the non- destructive tests in Australia and if they meet the requirements of AINDT (Australian Institute of Non Destructive Testing).
- Check warranty claims and ease of obtaining spare parts and professional advice.
- Check who the manufacturer is and if they are represented in Australia.
- Contact the manufacturer and seek their advice on the EWP you are interested in. Also ensure it iscovered by their product liability and what safety retrofits have been required on the unit.
- Contact the previous owner (details in Logbook) and confirm its working history.
- Work out what type of EWP you require with regards to working height, frequency of usage,reliability, ground conditions etc.
- If you have any doubts about what legislation is applicable in the State of operation phone therelevant WorkCover Authority and ask their advice.
Always “gather the facts” when considering purchasing an EWP be it new or pre-owned. Assistance is only a phone call away be it the manufacturer, a rental company, an owner, a user or the EWPAA.
Legislation can be particularly onerous and it is important to be pre-warned. (Eg, no pre-owned US market EWPs are sold into Europe, as they do not conform to the EC Standards). Like wise AS1418.10 is regarded as a more rigorous Standard than the US.
If still unsure ask yourself this key question:
“If there is an accident will I be blamed?”
This should help you focus on the “Duty of Care” aspects of the problem!!