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3Checks for mobile Access Power Platforms

Three “must do” checks before taking MEWPS on the road

Be aware of these regulations for mobile powered access platforms

Vehicle and truck mounted access platforms are ideal for a wide range of jobs on and offsite and are able to move between jobs quickly and safely.

However, there are a few regulations to be aware of before they are taken out on the road. Make sure they are

First: road worthy,
Second: licensed and
Third: loaded safely to minimise the risk of over-tipping or subsidence.

There are two types of mobile access platforms

Vehicle mounted access equipment falls into two categories for vehicle excise duty and road regulations:
1. Up to 3500 kg Revenue Weight which are classed as light good vehicles
2. Over 3500 kg Revenue Weight which are classed as tower wagons

Light goods access platforms
They can be driven on a Category B licence which is a standard car licence
An annual MOT test is required once the powered access platform is over three years old and most vehicle mounted platforms may be too big for a standard testing centre but can be taken to an HGV vehicle testing centre instead
Vehicles weighing between 300kg and 3500kg need a special class VII MOT test which are only available at HGV test centres and a limited number of standard ones

Tower wagon access platforms
A category C1 drivers licence is required for platforms sized between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes. Drivers who passed their car test before 1 January 1997 automatically have this entitlement but anyone who passed after this date needs to take a separate test to drive a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes
Drivers of tower wagons over 7.5 tonnes must hold a large good vehicle licence
Truck mounted access platforms are exempt from the Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988 and the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Regulations 1995, provided they are only used to transport the access platform
Tower wagons must be roadworthy with a defect reporting system in place that includes records of all maintenance and servicing

SAFETY – Maintaining a safe weight

All mobile access platforms are subject to a Maximum Allowable Mass (MAM) which is the maximum weight that the vehicle that can be used on the road and includes the top weight that it can carry safely.

The MAM can usually be found on the vehicle, such as inside the driver’s door, or in the model operations manual. It is important that anyone using the access equipment is aware of the MAM as over loading the vehicle will have serious implications for stability and may lead to dangerous accidents. MAM is explained in more detail on the Government website.

Summary
It is always advisable to makes sure a powered access platform is safe to use and fit for purpose and for vehicle mounted access equipment, this also means making them road legal. Make sure you are aware what type of mobile access platform you are working with and the relevant road regulations and MAM limitations and, when used correctly, they can save time and money on a range of jobs at height by moving safely and swiftly between locations.

Save money with MEWPs

Make MEWPs work for you and save money

Five easy ways

Powered access platforms are flexible and ideal for a range of different jobs at height. They can save money for businesses of all sizes, whether they are used frequently or on a job-by- job basis.

Five ways that powered access platforms could save your business money:

1) Buy or rent

Larger companies with multiple jobs at height can save on the rental costs by investing in their own equipment. With the extra advantage of being able to brand up their plant and train multiple operatives to use it, it is well worth considering. Having your own MEWP also allows flexibility in scheduling where and when it can be used across different projects.

Smaller firms can save money by renting access equipment as they go which saves on the initial expense of buying new equipment, on-going storage costs and the maintenance and servicing of a machine that they won’t get regular use out of.

If business improves and rental costs begin to accumulate then it may be time to look at owing your own MEWP. Before jumping in with a large capital outlay, look at the thriving market for second hand and used access platforms which are a cheaper option.

2) Time

Traditional methods for working at height such as scaffolding take time to erect and take down which needs to be priced into a job. There will be circumstances where this is the best option for the job but powered access platforms are the safest and quickest way to lift people and equipment to significant heights.

The access equipment can be brought to site, moved around if necessary and people lifted and lowered in a matter of minutes for a vast range of jobs. The mobility of access platforms also means they can be used for multiple jobs in different locations. More done in less time = saves money.

3) Safety

Falls from height account for most work-related accidents and the use of access platforms has shown significant reductions in the number of falls because:

People are lifted in a cage and not required to climb
Equipment is raised the same way and not winched up
Safety harnesses are used on most jobs as an additional support
Access platforms have excellent stability even on sharply sloping ground
Current health and safety legislation means it is compulsory for all operatives to be fully trained in inspecting, operating and using access equipment and identifying potential hazards

4) Flexibility

Powered access platforms include a wide range of machines that have specialist features for different jobs and a variety of lift and outreach distances. Some machines such as boom lifts have the ability to reach over and around obstacles and others are able to operate off road and on all terrains.

If narrow doorway access is required, there are compact MEWPs available.

Selecting the correct equipment will save money by eliminating many of the potential problems and delays caused by using machines that are too heavy, inflexible or not fit for purpose.

5) Access

Access is essential to the success of many jobs at height and powered access platforms offer a solution to most working problems. For example, machines such as tracked access spider lifts can be used indoors or outdoors and are lightweight and adaptable for fragile ground surfaces. There are also duel function access platforms which can be driven on the road and on railway lines to reach difficult parts of the track. All-terrain vehicles that are four wheel drive and durable for use on ice, mud and sand are also available.

Summary

Often the cost of a job comes down to how quickly and safely it can be completed and how to cause the minimum disruption. Whatever the size of your business or the nature of your work, if you have to carry out jobs at height then powered access platforms can save you money. They are safe, easy to operate and fully mobile and flexible for a wide range of jobs and locations.

Essential Ground Condition Checks for MEWPs

Ground condition checks for powered access platforms

It may be sunny this morning but was there heavy rain last night and the night before that could mean unstable ground conditions?

Ground conditions are essential to the stability of powered access platforms and jobs at height are carried out on a variety of surfaces.

Different types of access equipment are suitable for use on a range of different surfaces, indoors and outdoors. Whether you are using an access platform on wheels or a jack or outrigger, choose the right type for the working surface. The weight of the access equipment could cause ground to shift mid-job which will make the machine unstable and risk falls or over-tipping.

How to check ground conditions

Ground Assessment – A visual inspection may be fine but some sites may need a full geotechnical survey . The assessment should be made by someone with enough knowledge and experience to bring in expert help if necessary.

Be flexible – Ground conditions can vary in different areas of the same site so be prepared to assess each individual location for the access equipment, especially when using mobile access platforms such as booms or scissor lifts.

Weather conditions – Wind, rain, ice and even sun can quickly change ground conditions and cause instability. Regular checks should be carried out, particularly in rainy or cold conditions, and adjustments made if necessary

Spreader plates – Most soils, unmade ground and some paved areas are not capable of supporting the high pressure created at the feet of outriggers.

Spreader plates should always be used with boom-type mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) when fully supported on their outriggers. 

Spreader plates should be used with all other MEWPs that have outriggers unless a risk assessment indicates they are not necessary. Spread the Load!

Surfaces and different powered access

Tracked access platforms and scissor lifts are a reliable option for these surfaces:
Streets, paths and gardens – Paved areas might look strong but could have been laid on weak ground or have shallow services underneath.
Indoors – Many floors, cellars and basements are incapable of bearing the weight of access equipment so care must be taken when siting equipment indoors for a job.

All-terrain access platforms are best for any off-road work or surfaces that require specialist traction or 4WD:

Sand – Low sand density and high or variable water tables can create difficult conditions on sand.
Ice and snow – Regular checks should be carried out as frozen ground can quickly become soft as it thaws.
Rural areas – Many rural areas require an off-road vehicle. Take extra care when working next to rivers, estuaries and flood plains.

Boom lifts or mobile access platforms such as vehicle mounted lifts offer the flexibility and variety of reach to tackle most jobs at height in urban environments:

Urban streets – Take extra care when siting equipment on estate roads or areas that are used to light traffic rather than those used regularly by heavy commercial vehicles.
Underground Services – Sewers, drains, manholes, gas and water mains can be close to the surface and may be damaged by the weight of a powered access platform or could even collapse and cause the machine to become unstable or overturn.

Summary
The key to using access equipment on different surfaces is to be flexible and prepared to keep checking the ground conditions in case there is any change. It is better to check and make adjustments than wait for problems to occur, especially as it is easy to adjust the stability settings of most access equipment. Make sure you have the right type of platform for the job and that your checks are carried out properly and regularly so the access equipment will do a safe job on most types of ground surface.

MEWP Maintenance image

Do you know your MEWP Maintenance

MEWP Maintenance And Safety Regulations

Powered access platforms are only safe and efficient if they are in premium working condition and regular inspections and  MEWP maintenance are required by law for lifting equipment.

Making sure access equipment is stable, safe and fit for purpose is essential to health and safety and means jobs at height are completed faster and more efficiently. Whether it is a new or used access platform, keeping the access equipment in prime working condition extends its performance and lifespan and increases value for money.

There are two pieces of current legislation that govern MEWP maintenance:
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

It is a legal requirement to make sure access platforms are tested and thoroughly examined at regular intervals by a qualified person – six months for anything lifting people and 12 months for machines lifting just equipment.

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)

LOLER has the following requirements for servicing access equipment:

Equipment used for lifting people should be safe to use and all necessary precautions must be taken to eliminate or reduce any risk
Access equipment should be thoroughly examined before it is used for the first time
Examinations should be carried out in use every six months for access platforms lifting people and 12 months for all other equipment
Inspections and servicing should be carried out by a qualified person who submits a full report to the owner/employer

See the HSE publication Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. Approved Code of Practice and guidance for the regulations. 

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

The servicing requirements of PUWER for work equipment are:

It should be suitable for use
It is used and maintained in a safe condition for use so that people’s health and safety is not at risk
Inspected regularly to ensure that it is safe for use
A competent person should carry our inspections and a record kept until the next inspection
Mobile access platforms used for carrying people should be fit for purpose with measures taken to reduce the risks to anyone using it or in the vicinity

The HSE publication Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. Approved Code of Practice and guidance is available from their website here.

The Promax Access LOLER Reminder Service

Without a valid LOLER certificate, you should not use your machine. We offer a free LOLER reminder service to save you the problem of remembering your access platform’s (LOLER) examination.

See our LOLER reminder and simply enter the date of your next LOLER examination and we will not only contact you prior to that date, but also issue a LOLER reminder to let you know when it is due.

Summary

Powered access platform maintenance is important to meet regulations and maximise the functionality and safety of the equipment. To comply with LOLER 1998 and PUWER 1998, have access equipment tested and thoroughly examined at regular intervals by a qualified inspector or engineer.

Getting your powered access platforms inspected and serviced regularly is not only a legal requirement but a way to guarantee it is operating at peak performance, getting jobs at height completed faster and more safely and to avoid any unnecessary accidents.

MEWP Rescue Plan

MEWP Rescue Plan

Be Ready For When Things Go Wrong

Powered access platforms are the safest way to work at height in most circumstances, however there are occasions when things can go wrong.

The key to a successful rescue plan starts with A comprehensive Risk Assessment. Essential information should be recorded here first:

• The Manufacturer / model / ID number
• Location of use
• Date, times and duration of rescue plan
• Ensure a ground key is available
• Appoint a ground person(s) on site, familiarised and authorised to lower the work platform in the event of an emergency or a machine malfunction
• Best ways to raise the alarm
• Who should effect the rescue and how
• Name and contact number of authorised service engineer (if needed to call)
• And record Date the Rescue Plan was last practised

Carrying out a detailed and thorough risk assessment of the job location will identify most of the potential hazards before the job starts, but sometimes human error or acts of nature, such as extreme weather conditions, can mean that things still go wrong. It is important to have a rescue plan in place to support and assist the workforce in case of an accident or mechanical failure.

MEWP Rescue Planning

Most access equipment has back-up systems built into the machine which allow the operator to return the raised platform back to ground level. Though these systems rarely fail it can still happen so it is vital to have a plan for how people can be brought down safely. Not only is it important to have a plan for rescuing someone from an MEWP but it just as important to practise it – someone on the ground should know what to do in an emergency and how to operate the machine’s ground controls.

Any rescue plan from an access platform should comply with the current health and safety legislation covered by the 2005 Work at Height Regulations. It is important to do a risk assessment for the rescue and keep a record of this assessment and all details of the rescue as this may be important to refer to at a later date. More information regarding controlling the risk of MEWP hazards can be found at the Health and Safety Executive website.

If A MEWP Rescue Is Required

Activate all normal emergency lowering procedures if possible
Contact the manager of the site or project to report any failure of backup emergency systems
Get the powered access platform checked by a qualified engineer to see if an onsite repair can be carried out

Basket-To-Basket Rescue

If it is not possible to repair the lowering mechanisms then a basket-to-basket rescue may be necessary. This can be complicated and poses additional health and safety risks so it is important to follow the following steps:

The rescue machine should be placed in the safest position to minimise any additional danger to anyone involved in the rescue
Place the two machines adjacent to each other with the smallest possible gap between them
Attach a double lanyard to both the person being rescued and the anchor points on both machines before the rescue takes place
Never overload the rescue machine as this could lead to over-tipping or delay the rescue operation
In exceptional circumstances where a basket-to-basket rescue is not feasible, emergency evacuation systems such as a crane rescue could be used.

Summary

Having a rescue plan is an essential part of planning a job and, though access equipment is safe and efficient, there are rare occasions when jobs don’t go to plan. Carry out a full risk assessment, keep a record of any rescue situation as it happens, and try the simplest solution first before attempting a more complicated rescue procedure and the situation can be resolved quickly and carefully. And remember to practice for such an event.

PAL Card reader

Do You Have A PAL Card?

A PAL card is essential and required by law

 The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) globally-recognised PAL certification is proof of platform operator training to the highest standard.

The Powered Access Licence – PAL Card – is awarded to all operators of access equipment who have completed their training at any one of the 600 IPAF-approved training centres. It is recognised worldwide as proof of skill and ability by all the varied industries that rely on powered access platforms to carry out work at height.

Who Needs A PAL Card?
If you work at height and use access equipment, you need one. Basic training should be given to any teams or individuals who need to use powered access platforms to work at height. Not only will this ensure that the job is completed more efficiently but it will also safeguard against misuse of the equipment which could lead to serious injury or death and prosecution.

As the industries that work at height are so varied, the PAL card offers certification of a new skill on top of existing trades such as electrician, cleaner or window fitter.

Employers are obligated by law to provide proper training in the use of access platforms to comply with health and safety and work at height regulations. If employees have a PAL Card, it proves that all legal requirements have been fulfilled in that area.

The PAL Card
PAL Card. The PAL card is valid for 5 years. It shows the date on which the holder was assessed and the expiry date by which re-training would be needed and shows the types of equipment the holder has been trained to operate. It also shows to what level e.g. operator, demonstrator and instructor.

Security features including a holographic logo and the holder’s photograph and signature to prevent mis-use. Site and safety managers can verify a PAL card online or by calling the IPAF hotline: +44 (0)15395 66700.

The Smart PAL Card
All PAL Cards issued by IPAF are now smart cards and therefore all applications registered through the online system at www.ipaf-training.com will be smart cards. Smart cards are machine-readable and can be used to ensure that only trained operators can use mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) on site.

The Smart PAL Card looks the same as the standard PAL Card – the data stored on the card, such as the operator name, number and categories trained in, is also printed on it. The only difference is that the Smart PAL Card is marked by a wireless icon and has a chip embedded in it. The data in the chip can be read by a card reader fitted to the machine. The reader can be set up to accept certain data which in turn will allow the machine to be operated.

Other Smart PAL Card Benefits
• Using Smart PAL Cards provides options to control machine access and thereby improve safety.
• Site managers can use the system to ensure that only correctly trained operators have access to specific MEWPs.
• They can also track who has used which machine for how long, and prevent fraudulent use. Operators and contractors can prevent unauthorised users from using machines that they are responsible for under any rental contract.
• The card reader system can be used to verify if pre-use checks have been done.
• An electronic logbook can be created for individual operators – showing which machines they have operated, for how long and where.

For employers across the globe, PAL Cards are a universal way of ensuring that they meet the requirements of health and safety legislation so that all operators are fully trained in the proper and safe use of access platforms, which will increase productivity and avoid serious accidents.

MEWP Pre-start Inspection

Don’t overlook the daily MEWP Pre-Start Inspection

The Vital MEWP Pre-Start Inspection

To get the optimum performance out of your powered access platform, is vital to ensure the equipment is in the optimum condition before every use.

Maintaining and servicing access equipment will prolong its life and is required to meet health and safety regulations. A pre-start inspection should be carried out every day and all staff should be briefed on what they entail. These checks will confirm that the machinery is safe to operate and identify any potential hazards it may pose before the work at height is carried out.

The IPAF 41 Point MEWP Pre-Start Inspection

There are a number of key functions and features on access platforms which should be in full working order before the equipment is used. Even if the access equipment is rented from a reputable firm, the hirer is responsible for the health and safety of the people using it, so it is important to carry out your own checks as well as those done by the supplier.

The inspection should be a daily habit. The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF.org) has published a free checklist which can be downloaded and used to record the inspection results weekly. The checks are split between “Visual” checks and “Function” checks.

What the 41 point checklist covers

Controls – Test all lift controls before any people or equipment are raised from the ground. This should include cut out switches and emergency stop mechanisms.

Hydraulic fluid and petrol – 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.

Maintenance – Check the vehicle for any signs of damage or age which might cause it to malfunction. This should include identifying damaged or loose hoses or fittings, rust, corrosion, holes and electrical faults.

Stability – For a mobile access platform, the brakes of the vehicle should be fully functional. The base of a powered access platform needs to be locked into position before the platform is extended or elevated. Check all stabiliser legs and extendable parts are operational before use.

After the Checklist Inspection and Before the job set up

A full risk assessment should be carried out at the site of any job to identify any potential hazards such as overhead power lines or underground services, and to check the ground conditions. Here are a few helpful things to consider before you start:

Make sure the ground is strong enough to take the weight of the equipment before you start to lift anyone or anything.
Clearly mark off your work area to ensure you have a safe area to complete the job.
Only allow trained operatives to control the access equipment.
Make sure the powered access platform is fully stabilized before operation.
Do not exceed the maximum load capacity of the access platform.

Summary

Carrying out the relevant checks before you start will ensure that any jobs at height are completed quickly and safely. It is worth checking the equipment thoroughly yourself as part of the overall risk assessment of your job. Not only will this ensure that your equipment is well maintained and fit for purpose for longer but it will also prevent avoidable accidents.

IPAF Inspection Keytags IPAF Inspection Key Tags

These are a handy reminder of points to cover for pre-use and workplace inspections. Small quantities are available free from IPAF.org

 

IPAF Pre-Start Inspection – Boom Lift Video
May be viewed on YouTube here.

 

Tracked MEWP - Compact Spider 1365

Why use a tracked MEWP?

What are the benefits of a tracked MEWP?

In a nutshell they can tackle some of the most extreme and difficult ground conditions – both safely and effectively.

Because they run on a continuous track rather than on wheels, they have the ability to work on delicate surfaces both indoors and outdoors. The tracks spread the weight of the powered access platform over a wider area and exert a lot less pressure on the ground than when the weight is spread between four wheels. This means they are ideal for fragile surfaces including:

Garden pathways
Interior flooring
Soft mud
Wet sand
Ice and snow

The most common type of tracked MEWP are spider lifts which are designed to access and operate in tight spaces that may be inaccessible to other types of access platforms. For some specialist jobs at height, tracked access platforms may be the only way to get the job done. If there are weight restrictions, or height and width limits to reach the job, then a compact design and ability to operate across a variety of ground conditions are a major advantage.

Promax Access offers a range of innovative narrow and low ground press tracked Spider Lift Access Platforms such as the Spider 13.65.  This is an ultra compact and lightweight tracked MEWP featuring a telescopic boom with versatile fly-jib.  Easy to set up with dual power options, it’s perfect for internal and external work where there is limited space and access or on fragile ground conditions

Spider lifts can be used on steep slopes and are able to fit through a standard doorway sized gap if necessary. They are used by a diverse range of industries working at height because of their flexibility and adaptability to interior and exterior working environments.

Some of the key features include:

Able to stabilize on sloping ground
Can be used indoors with an electric motor for noise reduction and white tracks to prevent marking floors
Great ground clearance for difficult work sites
Tracks and boom can be controlled proportionally
Can fit through a standard size, single doorway or gate

However, it should be remembered that tracked access platforms may not be suitable for all jobs. An initial risk assessment prior to working outdoors may indicate that the four wheel drive capacity of a dedicated all-terrain access platform may be needed to reach jobs at height in more extreme off-road locations and weather conditions.

Summary

A tracked MEWP offers versatility for a wide range of jobs at height. They can be used on many ground surfaces and the low ground pressure provides stability and safety on internal floors, on gardens and driveways, and in soft outdoor ground conditions. Combined with a spider lift, they are one of the most adaptable and useful lightweight powered access platforms available.

Is renting a MEWP your best option?

Tips For Renting A MEWP

So you’ve got a few jobs that really need a powered access platform to do safely and efficiently. You’ve looked at the cost of buying, both new and second hand, but the company isn’t quite ready yet for that leap into a big capital purchase. It’s a decision that can’t be rushed into but renting a MEWP quickly to get the next few jobs done.

At this stage, many companies, especially smaller firms, find it more cost effective to rent powered access platforms rather than investing in their own equipment.

Finding a reliable and reputable hire firm is essential to make sure that you have the right access equipment for your job and that the machines you hire are functioning to the highest standards possible.

There are a few useful things to consider when deciding to hire powered access platforms which will help you find the right equipment from the right supplier.

Health and Safety

This is the most important consideration when renting access platforms. It is the responsibility of the person who is going to use access equipment to ensure that all users are fully trained. This is a legal requirement and is in place to avoid serious accidents or even death. Common accidents covered by training include falls from the basket, items dropped from a height and over-tipping. A reputable hire company will either be able to provide this training or direct you to a suitable independent training firm.

Servicing and Maintenance

Most rented equipment is not brand new and will be used by multiple companies in its rental lifetime. This makes it even more important to ensure that all used access equipment has been fully serviced and maintained and meets all the required safety standards. Ask your hire company to show you details of the servicing and who has worked on it.

Job specifics

Before you hire a powered access platform, you need to know the specifics of the job to make sure you are renting the right equipment. This may include location, the height of the job, access to the site, obstacles that need to be overcome, and the number of people or type of equipment that need to be lifted to the required height. If you are unsure about what you need then speak to your hire company as they will be able to advise you on choosing the right equipment and any health and safety requirements

Ground conditions

A full risk assessment should be carried out before starting any job and this should include details of the relevant ground conditions. The strength and type of ground surface vary depending on location and even the weather but is very important to the stability of access equipment. Many powered access platforms are able to stabilize on steep gradients though some fragile floors may need extra assistance. If you are concerned, ask your rental firm if they can rent or recommend spreader plates which will spread the pressure load and increase safety.

Hiring a powered access platform is cost effective for smaller firms or for private use and can save money on storage, maintenance and the other outgoings associated with owning a powered access platform. It is important to find a good hire firm that can provide quality equipment and advice to help your needs. Your hire firm should support you to make the right choice of access platform and comply with health and safety demands so you can get your job completed quickly, safely and with confidence.

Pre-owned budget MEWP

How To Buy A budget MEWP

Buying a budget MEWP may be best

We would all like to buy a new car – the latest model with sexy looks, serious gizmos and enough room for the whole family including dogs, ponies and the occasional kitchen sink. Sometimes, however, the budget doesn’t quite stretch that far and we need to cut our coat according to our cloth.

It’s the same with the decision to buy a powered access platform. Perhaps initially your workload has only demanded you renting a MEWP when necessary. Then your workload increases and rental costs start to bite into your profits and that old question “to buy or not to buy” raises its head again.

A shiny new machine is tempting – look at all the catalogues, visit the showrooms, compare the costs. It’s a big investment. Perfect if you have the money available. But sometimes cash flow and budget enter the scenario. But at least you can get an idea of what you need for your business. Research the right type of budget MEWP for your specific needs, one that will do the majority of the work that you currently hire a machine for. Then start to shop around.

Fortunately, there is a thriving market for quality, pre-owned access equipment which is available at a reduced price.

Buying used access equipment can be an affordable solution for a business that has regular and multiple jobs at height. It is an investment that over time will pay for itself by saving on rental costs and any time lost by using traditional climbing methods such as ladders or scaffolding.

If you are buying second hand then it’s important to make sure to know the history of a powered access platform. Used budget MEWPS are sold by many rental and retail firms and there are a few things to look out for:

Age – Find out how old the powered access platform is to make sure it is still possible to get parts and servicing.

History – Ask who the previous owners were and what the equipment has previously been used for as this could affect wear and tear.

Model – Spend time researching the right platform for specific tasks. For example, vehicle mounted access platforms offer ease of mobility, or a spider lift is suitable for work in tight spaces.

Servicing and maintenance – It is important to find out when and who has inspected equipment over its lifetime and that there is proof that it complies with current safety legislation. Also ask about the credentials of whoever has done the work to make sure they are fully trained and experienced.

LOLER Certified – Ensure it has been thoroughly examined and a new certificate issued

Storage and insurance – Always consider the additional costs of owning an expensive piece of equipment. Find out what the legal requirements are with regard to servicing and make sure there is a secure place to store the platform when it is not in use.

Even after these considerations, it may still be the case that renting powered access platforms offers the best value for money and flexibility for a smaller business. However, pre-owned access platforms offer value for money and can be more cost-effective in the long term if the number of jobs at height increases.

Reputable suppliers will ensure they are acquired from reputable sources, fully serviced and inspected so they provide maximum efficiency at a more affordable price. Ask the right questions and make an informed decision.

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