The essentials of powered access platform training

Training is a legal requirement for any individuals using powered access platforms, and it is also essential to running an efficient and cost effective business for industries that work at height.

Employers and individual users – both self employed or private use – are ultimately responsible for making sure that any staff or subcontractors have the required training to safely operate any make or model of access equipment.

Accidents have a high cost in terms of people and corporate reputation. Not only do they lead to compensation payments and significant penalty charges, they can also put businesses at risk from time delays, higher insurance premiums and legal fees.

Training in the use of powered access platforms is the key to a successful and efficient business. There are a wide range of training courses available for different levels of user including operators, demonstrators, instructors and managers.

The Law

Under UK Law all access platform operatives must be fully trained before attempting to operate any machine. Accredited courses run all over the country using a combination of practical and classroom based sessions to bring people up to speed on operating equipment safely; Inspecting access platforms for defects and wear and tear; Recognising and avoiding potential hazards in the workspace; and familiarisation with the specific make and model to be used.

Training includes:
– Industry regulations and standards
– Choosing the right platform for the job
– Carrying out workplace inspections
– Operation of the powered access platform including demonstrated proficiency in all functions of the equipment
– How to recognise and avoid common hazards
– Operator warnings and instructions
– The purpose and use of manuals
– Carrying out a pre-start inspection
– Factors affecting stability
– Personal protective equipment
– General equipment components
– Safe use of equipment
– Understanding issues associated with larger machines: e.g. outriggers/stabilizers, extendable axles, envelope management systems, load-moment devices, dual capacity

Courses can be tailored to the individual requirements of your business and can many accredited training centres offer courses to be held at their premises, or on a convenient site with suitable facilities.

Powered access platforms make working at height safer, quicker and more efficient and training is not only required by law but it has notable business benefits in the short and long term. Anyone working with the equipment needs to know how to inspect it, to operate it safely, and to recognise and avoid any potential hazards. This will prevent accidents, improve the working environment and help to establish a respected business reputation.