An elevated work platform, sometimes called an aerial work platform, allows your workers to get to a higher level and reach areas that would otherwise not be accessible. While it is a very convenient machine to have access to, it can also be a big safety hazard if you aren't careful. Here are some tips for using an elevated work platform if you are new to having this type of equipment on your job site.
Pay Close Attention to Loading Limits
As you would with any other major construction equipment, you need to ensure that you don't go over the loading limit. The manufacturer or rental place will inform you of how much weight the elevated work platform can handle at one time. Keep in mind this includes the weight of the workers standing on the platform, tools on their person, equipment and anything else that is on the platform while it is being used. Be precise and get the exact weight so you don't go over the limit.
Clear the Area
When you are using an elevated work platform, you not only need to be sure the area around the equipment on the ground is clear, but look at the area where it will be moved and elevated to as well. This is where a lot of hazards occur, such as telephone wires and part of the building's structure you are working on. You also want to make sure the equipment itself doesn't have anything that could be tangled, such as ropes or cords.
Restrain the Workers
Make sure your workers are wearing the property safety gear, beginning with the right clothing, gloves and a hard hat. You also want to make sure they are restrained properly just in case there is an incident. This prevents them from being ejected from the basket of the work platform. There are usually belts connected to the boom or a harness that keeps them on the platform. This is an added precaution you should never overlook, no matter how experienced or confident the worker is.
Inspect the Machine
The last thing you need to do before operating the elevating work platform is to make sure the machine itself is in good condition. It might seem tedious, but you should do this before every workday and in the middle of the workday if the equipment is going to be used often. It only takes a few minutes out of your day and can help to protect your workers. If you notice any issues with the equipment, stop what you are doing and get repairs done before you continue with the work.