Using machinery safely

Using machinery safely

Rapid Platforms have a wide range of machinery available to hire for working at height. From cherry pickers to truck mounted platforms, you’ll find something to suit whatever job you are working on.

But, whether you own your own machinery or hire it in, it’s not just a case of setting up your equipment and getting on with the job. You need to make sure that you and your staff know how to use the equipment safely and how to make sure the equipment stays in prime condition to add to staff safety and reduce accidents.

1. Training courses

One of the very best things you can do for your staff is to send them on training courses for any equipment they aren’t familiar with. Not only is it a legal requirement listed in the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) that anyone using this type of machinery must have been fully trained in its use, but the more training on different types of equipment your staff have, the more useful they are to you on site, and the more flexibility you have when planning work and arranging staff schedules.

Rapid Platforms offer a variety of training courses specifically for heavy machinery, with operator, demonstrator and instructor levels available:

• International Powered Access Federation (IPAF)

Taking your staff through both theory and practical lessons, the IPAF certification ensures that they have a thorough understanding of each piece of equipment, and provides a PAL (Powered Access Licence) Card, a log book, a safety guide and a certificate at the end of the course, proving that your staff are qualified to operate the machinery and enabling site access for both UK jobs and internationally.

You can find the right IPAF course for you here.

• Pre-fabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers Association (PASMA)

We offer training on Mobile Aluminium Scaffold Towers and PASMA Tower Equipment, and provide a PASMA Card and PASMA Certificate on course completion.

See more information on our PASMA course here.

2. PPE

PUWER also covers the requirement for using personal protective equipment (PPE) on any machinery. The requirements will vary depending on what equipment you are using, but may include safety goggles, steel toe capped boots or hard hats.

It is extremely important that PPE is worn when it should be, as not doing so massively increases the risk of accidents, and time lost due to stoppages.

In a related area, it is equally important that guards are used on equipment to prevent staff from accessing, even accidentally, moving inner workings when the machinery is in operation.

3. Maintenance and servicing

Under Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER 1998), every piece of machinery must be maintained regularly to make sure it is still in excellent condition and safe to use, and a maintenance log should be filled in whenever repairs or inspections are done.

Regular servicing is of particular importance with this machinery to ensure safe and efficient use, and Rapid Platforms offer both one-off repairs and servicing, or packages for full LOLER service inspections.

Read more about our service options here.