Working At Heights
There are many instances where people may be required to work at considerable height, and this poses risks not only to those working at height but to people below and around them. The use of safety hats and appropriate working processes can only offer so much protection, and it is important that mobile platforms and other equipment designed for purpose should be employed so that the operator or worker is able to successfully complete the desired task without putting themselves or other people in any danger.
The use of the proper machinery is vital. Improper vehicles, or machinery that is designed for a different task and the operator is simply making do, poses a considerable risk. Not only will the machinery be unlikely to offer the best possible means of completing the job in hand, but it is also possible that using it will pose a greater risk than not using it. Elevated platforms are designed for specific types of access, and using the incorrect platform could mean an unstable base or improper safety features.
Safety equipment should be used at all times. It is easy for workers to become complacent over time, especially if they have not been involved in any kind of accident or near-accident. However, the one time that a safety helmet isn’t worn, or a harness isn’t attached properly, could be the one time that an accident does occur. Training should be provided in the proper use of harnesses and other safety equipment, and anybody that will be using the equipment should complete the training so that they can follow the proper safety procedures and protocol.
No matter how effective the machinery, or even if the platform being used was designed to give the kind of access that is required, if the ground itself is unstable or inappropriate for the use of the MEWP then a more suitable alternative should be sought. Loose or unstable ground can easily cause an accident, could cause the platform to shift, and it could be the cause of a major incident or accident.
Training on the MEWP itself should always be sought by both the operator and the manager. IPAF training courses are industry recognised, they provide proper training and assessment on all areas of health and safety when using platforms like boom lifts, scissor lifts, and cherry pickers. What’s more, they not only provide training to ensure the safe use of the machinery, but to put appropriate emergency procedures and protocols in place, too. Even with training, and even through no fault of the operator or manager, unavoidable accidents can still occur, and this is where the proper emergency procedures will prove invaluable.
If an operator has training on a different type of MEWP to the one that they are to use, then they should have additional training. Different types of platform are used for different purposes, used in different scenarios and require different safety procedures and even safety equipment. Ensuring that all of your operators and managers have the appropriate training is the only way to totally mitigate the possibility of accidents and injuries.
IPAF training from the Safety Maintenance Company can be provided to operators and managers and provide information and working knowledge on the safe operation, management, and handling of a variety of different types of mobile platform.