Safety should always be your priority. Using access equipment can ensure it but all can easily go haywire if it is used improperly. This is why you should always ensure that you observe essential safety measures when using one.
Secure that you do the following to ensure access equipment safety:
- Weather Check
- Quick Ladder Inspection
- Check Surface Stability
- Usage of Right Equipment
- ‘One Task Only’ Rule
- Training and Legislation Update
6 Important Safety Rules for Use of Access Equipment
1. Weather Check
You should always be aware of the weather. If you know that you would be using access equipment, you should ensure that you’re aware of the major weather conditions for that day. Nasty weather can make working with access equipment extremely dangerous.
Rain, snow, and ice can make it treacherous for you to even work with access equipment. This is because you’d be at risk as you’d work on an unstable and slippery surface. Working on a stable and secure surface is essential in ensuring safe access equipment usage. If you already know that the weather will be bad and uncooperative, it’s best to cancel any access equipment activity. But should you need to work on emergency situations during unforgiving weather, access platform engineers strongly advise that you prioritize ensuring that you have a firm and level base.
2. Quick Ladder Inspection
After checking the weather and ensuring that it’s safe for work, you should then check your ladder. A ladder check should be done every single time that you’d use access equipment. It’s a step that you should never ever miss. Doing a quick ladder check is vital in safe access equipment usage. Doing it every single time can effectively avoid accidents.
When doing an access equipment check, do the following:
- Check for faults
- Check for damages
- Check that all parts are in place and functional
- Check from the bottom and work your way up
- Ensure that foot pads are properly placed
- Check every single rail for damage or bowing
- Ensure that all step connections are tight
- Clean any debris, substances, and dirt
- Check if you can smoothly operate it
- Check if it places firmly on the ground
3. Check Surface Stability
The surface that you will be working on is as important as your access equipment. Access equipment usage largely depends on surface stability. The firmer a surface is, the safer you will be.
You should ensure that your chosen surface has enough capacity to carry your load. Workers’ lives will be at risk if a surface does not have the right firmness to solidly support access equipment. This is critical as workers will be elevated. For additional protection and safety, you could consider safety harnesses.
Your surface should also have the right texture. It should not be slippery or uneven.
4. Usage of Right Equipment
Do you know if you’re using the right product? No safety protocol is enough to secure your safety if you’re using the wrong equipment in the first place. There is proper access equipment for every kind of activity or project.
Never use access equipment that is too short as it will invite accidents and almost always ensure a fall. You should be well aware of your access equipment’s load capacity and height. Using one on an activity that is beyond its load and reach is a recipe for disaster.
To supremely ensure safety, always refer to your access equipment’s manufacturer’s instructions. Once fully aware of an access equipment’s limit, duly and strictly comply. If you’re working with a group, ensure that every single one is aware of your access equipment’s capacity and height. Make it clear that such restrictions should be observed at all times.
5. ‘One Task Only’ Rule
To ensure 100% safety at all times, you should always avoid multitasking. One should never overstretch, overload, and overdo any action. The access equipment in itself is already allowing you to do the impossible by giving you access to elevated spaces. Stretching that luxury is effectively inviting accidents and injuries. Never multitask when using access equipment.
For safety, you should always be in control of your balance. Keeping yourself fully balanced is impossible if you will multitask. Working with your right hand while holding tools with your left hand is extremely dangerous as you will struggle with balance. You should only focus on one task every single time. Your other hand should always be free to allow for easy balance adjustment. Never carry tools and equipment with your free hand. Use a tool belt or a tool tray instead.
h4>6. Training and Legislation Update<h/4>
You should never use access equipment if you were not trained for it. If you know that you didn’t get to undergo safety training, you should steer clear from using any kind of access equipment. Even using a step ladder requires one to be fully aware of safety precautions and protocols. You will be working from a height and your safety should always be your top priority. No project or task is worth the risk. Undergoing safety training saves lives.
Access equipment varies in mechanism and protocols so you should always ensure that you’ve undergone specialized training. A generic safety training will not suffice if you have to work with a scaffold tower.
For optimum safety, ensure that you undergo the following training:
- Scaffold Tower Training
- Working at Height Training
- Low-Level Access Equipment Training
- Ladders, Steps & Scaffold Tower Training