Maintaining powered access platforms is a smart business move for many industries that work at height and careful machine maintenance is key to getting the most out of your machine.
Access equipment that is kept in prime working order will not only have an extended lifetime and increased resale value, but will boost workforce health, safety and productivity. Regular inspections and maintenance of lifting equipment are required by law and the ability to spot problems and issues is included in the mandatory training for access platform operatives.
There are two pieces of current UK legislation that govern maintaining powered access platforms:
– Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
– Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
These regulations are in place to ensure that a machine is in safe working order throughout its lifespan and to protect the people using it, and anyone else in the vicinity, from harm.
A thorough examination of the machine should be completed before the start of every job. This will look for signs of wear and tear and make sure all the moveable parts, controls and safety components are in full working order.
Checks should be carried out whilst maintaining powered access platform including machines that are used frequently and those that only come out for occasional jobs.
All operatives using the access platforms should be fully trained and the process of completing the checks will help to familiarise them with the specific make and model they are using.
All equipment used to lift persons must undergo a thorough examination by a competent person at least once every six months. Don’t be afraid to ask for the credentials of whoever is working on the access platform and keep a record of the machines service history.
As well as all the daily checks, a full service will include a detailed inspection of the following:
– Lifting, lowering, rotating and extending equipment
– Safety systems and controls including sensors, emergency lowering, stop buttons, limiters and communication systems
– All parts of the work platform/basket including the floor and gates, guardrails and toe boards and safety harness points
– Screws, nuts and bolts, bearings, hydraulics, electrics, ropes and chains
– Batteries, power supplies and pumps
– Hydraulics and electrics
– Brakes and steering
– Chassis and stabilisers
These are a detailed mechanical review of the access platform every ten years. They check the structural integrity and operation of the critical components of the machine to make sure it complies with safety regulations and can add to the resale value.
It is important to keep a record of the checks and the full service history both to comply with the health and safety regulations and to pass on a full record of the access platform’s service history if it is sold.
Making the investment to own a powered access platform has major business benefits including increased safety and productivity. To get the most out of a machine, it is essential to keep it in optimum working order. This means regular servicing and pre start checks, which will help the access platform to hold it’s value and work effectively for longer and will anticipate any mechanical risks or issues which could prevent accidents.