Important considerations about safety and the law
If you are considering using a powered access platform for the first time, here’s a five point check list to help you get started. Although powered access platforms are safe and easy to operate there are still some important things you need to know about safety and the law.
It doesn’t matter if you are using the access equipment for public or private work, the considerations are the same and being prepared will make any task safer, faster and easier to complete.
Tick off this checklist to understand and consider the implications before you rent, buy or operate any powered access platforms:
Under UK law, anyone using access equipment for any purpose must be trained in how to inspect and operate it, and recognising and avoiding any dangers or hazards. They should also be familiar with the specific model of access platform that they are using. It is the responsibility of employers and individual users to make sure they have completed the training to comply with current health and safety legislation. Promax Access can guide you through the maze of Height Safety Training Courses and Legal Obligations.
2. Risk assessment
All operatives need to be aware of potential dangers such as overhead power lines, ground conditions, obstructions and stability issues, so they can avoid any risk to themselves or anyone else around the job site. A detailed record should be kept of the risk assessment including inspections of the equipment and the use of harnesses if necessary. As circumstances can change, the risk assessment should be reviewed throughout the job. More information about Risk Assessments may be found at the Health and Safety Executive website .
3. Choosing equipment
Access platforms are flexible and mobile which makes them suitable for jobs at height in a wide range of locations and environments. Choosing the right equipment is an important consideration and will depend on the requirements of your job:
• Spider lifts have a narrow design, reduced noise and low ground pressure and can be used on more fragile surfaces indoors and outdoors
• Mobile access platforms on a van or truck are ideal for multiples jobs and on or off-site such as street lighting repairs or roofing
• All terrain access platforms are 4WD and can operate on extreme gradients and challenging surfaces
• Road rail access platforms have duel functionality to work effectively on road or rail tracks
Promax Access have been raising the standards in powered access solutions for over 15 years. They can provide help and advice in choosing the right equipment.
4. Ground Conditions
For most outdoor jobs, ground conditions are linked to the weather which is impossible to control. They can vary on different areas of the same site and are changeable – wind, rain, ice and sun can all cause instability – so they need to be monitored throughout the job. Sometimes a geotechnical survey will be required to identify underground hazards such as sewers or services.
Never underestimate the importance of physically checking the on-site ground conditions before deploying any MEWP.
5. Machine maintenance
It’s the law to have access equipment tested and thoroughly examined by a qualified person every six months for machines lifting people and 12 months for those lifting just equipment.
Both new and used access platforms should be fully serviced and maintained to meet current health and safety legislation and ensure jobs are carried out safely and more efficiently.
Without a valid LOLER certificate, you should not use your machine. Promax Access off a free LOLER Reminder service .
Faster, safer, easy to use – there are lots of benefits to choosing powered access platforms over ladders or scaffolding for most elevated jobs but the benefits will only really be gained by ensuring they are properly used. Get properly trained, choose your equipment wisely and be aware of the potential problems that can hold up a job and powered access platforms can save time and money on jobs of all sizes.
Get free advice. Call Promax Access on 10226 7166657 and talk to an expert.