Choosing the right type of platform access equipment for the needs of your job is essential and how the platform access equipment is powered is a major consideration. Different makes and models offer a choice of power sources for convenience and to work safely in different environments.
The main types of platform access power supply are:
– Internal combustion engine powered by diesel or petrol fuel
– Electrical power supply (AC) that can be plugged into the mains
– Electric power supply (DC) with lead acid or lithium batteries
– Dual power hybrid with battery power and combustion engine for additional power
Why the right platform access power supply is important
The pre-job risk assessment will indicate specific requirements and power supply considerations.
The 2012 Health and Safety Executive ”NOMAD Project” Report, survey found that…
“The general state of compliance of machinery instructions with the noise-related requirements of the Machinery Directive was found to be very poor: 80% of instructions did not meet legal requirements. “
This non-compliance was mainly as a result of the instructions not having enough quantitative values that was either missing (45%), not traceable (75%), nor credible (64%).
When using, or purchasing any powered platform access, it is essential to check the noise levels comply with legal requirements. The HSE website has a wealth of information on this topic.
Noise levels are a major concern as there are both UK and EU regulations that govern how much noise you can make in specific environments, including indoor working and densely populated areas. In confined spaces, such as narrow streets or indoors, noise echoes off walls, ceilings and floors and the roar of a diesel engine can sound even louder than usual.
All access platforms are marked with their sound power level so it is easy to tell when a particular machine is unsuitable for a particular working environment.
Choose the right power supply for the job
Electrical power supplies are quieter than a diesel engine and are powered by either a mains supply or battery. Most models of spider lift, tracked access platform or other equipment which is designed to work indoors have an electric or duel fuel engine.
Wherever you are working, you need to make sure there is a sufficient fuel supply to complete the necessary tasks. A rapid battery charging system provides fume free operation for confined working spaces without the need to rely on AC power and trailing cables and is available on some newer models of machine such as the Spider 18.90 PRO-E which has a 300Ah lithium battery for an extended working lifespan.
Engines are louder and are most common form of power supply on powered access platforms but need diesel or petrol to operate. They are suitable for use in a vast range of working environments and temperatures, on and off site and throughout the seasons.
Whatever the job or working environment, select the type of powered access platform with the right power supply to meet the needs of the job and make sure it has sufficient fuel or access to energy to work safely and efficiently.