The New Year is just days away and Promax Access Ltd has some suggestions for safer and more efficient working at height in 2017.
Whatever the size or nature of your business, speed and safety are the key to productive elevated working and whether you are new to the game or an established company here are some tips for 2017 which might just boost your business
1. Look after your machine
It sounds obvious but the best results are achieved when the access equipment is looked after and in prime condition. It should be serviced every six months by a competent person and should be checked before the start of each job for signs of wear and tear or malfunction such as:
- Visible signs of damage to body work or components which might lead to malfunction
- Outrigger legs, brakes and extendable parts should all be safe and functional
- Check controls are fully operational including cut out switches and emergency stop mechanisms
- The oil level in the tank should be full when the platform is on a level surface and there should be enough fuel in the tank to complete the job
2. Refresh your risk assessment
Risk assessments are essential and, even though you may have done them a million times, each job poses new challenges at ground level and height. Most risks can be spotted by walking around and making observations but others, such as changes in the weather or differing ground conditions, require continual monitoring to keep on top of any changes
Write down all your findings so they can be referred to at any point in the job. This is particularly important when drafting a rescue plan as you may need to use it in the event of an emergency. Communicate the risk assessment to all operatives on the job – both the supervisors and the staff should be aware of the potential dangers so they can take proactive steps to avoid them.
3. Get SMART
We live in an age of rapid advances in science and technology and these are also being applied to powered access platforms to boost training and improve safety. Over the past few years, some of these technologies have already been incorporated into access equipment including:
- Pothole protection to improve stability
- Load sensitive technology to prevent exceeding maximum weight capacities
- Emergency cut out controls in the event of an emergency situation
- Built in weather monitors to assess wind speeds
- Microchip card readers with data about operative skills and training which are fitted to the machine, such as The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) Smart PAL cards
It looks as though 2017 will be another good year for business that work at height with powered access platforms so why not see the New Year as an opportunity to fine tune existing skills and look to the future by embracing new technology.