Powered Access Platforms

Powered Access Platforms – The Ups and Downs

Safer and more productive, but…
There’s no doubt that the use of Powered Access Platforms can make the workplace safer and more productive. However, there are also dangers and pitfalls that need to be considered – especially the legal duties placed upon owners and users.

The Ups…

Tree work
The risks of working at height accidents are reduced when using powered access platforms (Or MEWPs – Mobile Elevating Work Platforms as they are commonly known). When used for tree work they are faster to use than conventional ladders and ropes. They enable quick access to those awkward to reach branches and are less tiring for the operators. More work gets done throughout the week and the operators are less tired and thus the risk of accidents through fatigue is reduced.

Power Access Platforms are a great alternative to scaffolding. They provide easy access to those small but essential jobs high on roofs or ceilings that previously could only be accessed by erecting scaffolding. If the work involved is a routine inspection or small maintenance, the cost and inconvenience of erecting scaffolding can be prohibitive. They are also ideal for those small, “one off” jobs.

Indoor Working and Accessibility
Boom lifts with strong stabiliser legs and spreader plates reduce the pressure point between outriggers and the ground and can operate without damaging floors or delicate ground. Most can be operated with an electric motor as standard to minimise indoor noise disruption.

The Downs…
Like all mechanised equipment, there are inherent dangers in using powered access platforms.

Operator Training
Most accidents arise from their operation and use rather than from their movement on site. Research has shown that lack of adequate training is the cause of over 70% of accidents involving powered access platforms. Employers are obliged to provide access platform training for employees. If you are not sure what’s required, Promax Access provide a comprehensive range of courses to meet these legal training requirements.

Equipment Failure
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) was introduced to ensure that all lifting equipment was “fit for purpose” and subject to statutory periodic “thorough examination” with detailed records kept. It places these duties squarely with the people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. All equipment must have a valid LOLER certificate and test carried out every 6 months for powered access platforms. To help you manage this essential certification, Promax Access have a LOLER reminder service.

Capital Outlay
If your budget is tight or it’s your first foray into the world of powered access platforms, then consideration may be giving to purchasing pre-owned access equipment. It can, however, be a risky business. Ideally you need to know how old it is, what was it previously used for, has it got a full service and inspection history, was it maintained regularly, does it have an Operator’s Manual and, crucially a valid LOLER certificate?

What might be considered a “bargain” may end up costing more than was bargained for. Promax Access is pleased to offer cost-effective, pre-owned powered access platform solutions, carefully selected from their existing customers or trusted partners. All are supplied fully serviced and inspected with a new LOLER certificate. Pre-owned access equipment is arriving all the time.