Aerial Work Platform – Tips to Reduce Misphaps:
Aerial work platform also known as an elevated work platform or aerial device is mechanical equipment that is used to provide temporary access to equipments or people to inaccessible places that are generally at a height. These mechanical devices are usually used to provide the crane operator the flexibility to access the places that cannot be reached otherwise by human. It is mainly used for construction work, maintenance or cleaning of building walls/glasses. The firefighters also use the elevated work platform to extinguish fire in case of an emergency.
The aerial platform has only a limited weight capacity, which is usually not less than a ton. However, some elevated platforms have higher safe work load (SWL) capacity. The work platform is made of a tough, durable metallic base and it is covered with a cage or rails for protecting the person standing on the platform. The platform is connected to a mechanical arm that lifts the platform to the top. The person standing on the platform can regulate the descent or ascent of the platform using a control deck located there.
Depending on the specific task there are different types of elevated platforms and each type of platform has its unique fuel resource and working mechanism. The most commonly used model is EWP (elevated work platform). This type of platform is operated hydraulically and it is very similar to a crane that has different joints that enables it to be used for up and over applications.
The scissor lift is the other popularly used aerial platform. It can swiftly move up and down mainly because of its unfolding system, which is made of criss-cross construction that elongates and compresses itself as and when required. A scissor lift can be hydraulic, pneumatic or mechanized.
Although truck mounted aerial platforms are known to be safe, there are still risks involved of being trapped or falling off while working at a height. It can happen in different ways and situations but such mishaps occur mostly when the person working on the platform movers too close to the overhead obstacle or if the operator of the platform loses control. In order to reduce the risk of being trapped and prevent casualties you must take the following preventive measures:
1. Plan your work according to the task requirements and make sure that the operator is aware of the surroundings, the possible hazards and ways to avoid them.
2. Choose the right type of aerial platform. The size and the method of access of the platform provide should match the type of task you wish to carry out.
3. Strictly adhere to the basic safety procedures such as checking the work area before lift the work platform, lifting the platform up slowly and carefully, avoid leaning over handrails and always keep your attention focused on the work and the direction in which the platform is moving.
4. Avoid squeezing past an obstacle at height
5. Make sure you have rescue experts in the standby to help you to get to safety in case of a unforeseen accident or if you get trapped while performing your task.
Thus, if you have the right knowledge about the safety measures you can be in a better position to prevent aerial work platform mishaps.