Minimising risk when using access machinery
Cherry pickers, hoists and other forms of access machinery are the most efficient and flexible way to reach high places. In most cases, they are also safer than scaffolding, ladders and other forms of old-fashioned access equipment. However, even these remarkable machines have certain risks associated with them. Working at height is never completely risk-free, but it can be made safer if you are aware of the dangers and how to negate them. That’s why we’ve decided to devote this blog to the risks of using access machinery and how to avoid them. Here at Rapid Platforms, we earnestly believe that our access solutions are superior to other non-mechanical access solutions, but you still need to be aware of how to stay safe when using them.
1. Slipping and falling
While access platforms feature guardrails to minimise the risk of falling, you should be aware that it is still possible, in some rare circumstances, to slip and fall over this guardrail. This risk increases during bad weather: rain can make the access platform slippery and strong winds can make it harder for users to keep their balance. There are two things you should do to reduce this risk. Firstly, ensure that everyone who will be using your access machinery is given IPAF training. IPAF training is legally necessary for most types of access machinery anyway, but it can also help users familiarise themselves with the equipment so they don’t slip or fall while using it. Secondly, you should ensure that your access machinery isn’t used during harsh weather conditions.
Each cherry picker, access platform or other piece of machinery can only hold a certain amount of weight. The more you overburden the machine, the more likely it is to overbalance or spill you (or your employees) to ground. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid this problem. Simply learn the weight capacity of each your pieces of access machinery and never exceed this limit. We also recommend that you refrain from loading a piece of machinery up to its capacity: leave a safety margin of at least several kilos.
3. Mechanical breakdown
Even the most well-built machinery can break down if it suffers enough wear-and-tear. This can obviously be dangerous for anybody using it when it happens. Eliminating this risk is as simple as having your access machinery serviced and maintained on a regular basis.
Here at Rapid Platforms, we offer IPAF training and access machinery maintenance. We can also provide you with any information you might need about our access platforms. If you need help managing any of the risks that we’ve talked about today, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. When you or your employees next use an access platform, make sure you’re completely safe.