In the UK spring has sprung and summer is lurking somewhere around the corner. Across the country fetes, festivals and exhibitions are being planned and MEWPs have made staging outdoor events much easier.
Local fetes, musical festivals in local parks, street carnivals and road races often need access platforms that are flexible, mobile and able to operate safely on a wide range of surfaces and ground conditions.
Their flexibility allows a variety of jobs to be done.
– Putting up bunting, street lighting and decorations
– Stage construction including roofing, lifting steelwork and maintenance
– Setting up and taking down lighting rigs, lasers and pyrotechnics
– Working on sound equipment
– Fixing and operating film and television cameras for broadcast
– Maintenance during the event and site clearance afterwards
Selecting the right equipment for the job
MEWPs are versatile and there is a model or type suitable for most locations, indoors and outdoors. When selecting the type needed, think about the following:
– The work to be done and height and outreach needed
– The ground conditions and any supporting structure
– The terrain and any gradients
– Access to the site and the work location
– Any overhead hazards, e.g. power cables
– How many people will be needed
– The safe working load of the machine
– Are any materials handling devices needed
– Any other traffic on site including pedestrians
– Fuel allowed on site and where refuelling will take place
The same safety rules apply to access platform users regardless of whether it’s a private or public event. By law, all operatives should be fully trained to use powered access platforms and familiarised with the specific machine they are using.
A full and detailed risk assessment needs to be carried out to identify any hazards in the work area and surrounding site. The fun event is for everyone and should not be marred by risk taking and serious accidents. Often at outdoor events, the work needs to be carried out while the event is going on and there are thousands of people around. When used properly, access equipment is one of the safest ways to work up in the air, at speed. However, be sure to create a safe working area so neither operatives or members of the public are at risk.
Check the weather forecast – it can snow in Spring! Wind. Rain and mud are all potential problems. Be prepared and select the right equipment for the job – including personal fall protection.
Outdoor festivals in the UK are hugely popular, often attracting thousands of people. Powered access platforms play a key role in making them a success. For flexibility, stability and safety they are the best choice for working at height for anyone planning an outstanding summer event. Get out the brolly and the sun cream and let’s all have some fun.