Whenever an equipment for aerial access is being used on a job site such as an aerial work platform, there is always a lot of risk involved. Work platforms are generally safer than ladders, but accidents occur with work platforms as well.
Using them in construction sites is even more risky, due to unstable foundations and various obstacles.
Here are certain tips that may help in ensuring safety when using a work platform in a construction site:
Ensure that the work platform is up to code
The first step is to ensure that the work platform itself meets all the employer safety rules and codes. This includes federal as well as local codes.
The codes will usually include the material, the duty rating and application of the work platform. Ensure that the work platform isn’t being used for a wrong application; this can lead to you being held liable in case of an accident.
Inspection of work platform
Before the work platform is used, it must be inspected in detail to ensure that it is safe for use. This includes the operation of the lift, as well as the cleanliness of the platform so that it isn’t slippery.
If there is any sort of problem with the work platform, it should immediately be tagged ‘unsafe’ and removed from the premises. Only after it has been fixed, should it be brought back on site.
Conducting a thorough risk assessment of the workplace before the work platform is brought in is another important step. The risk assessment should include the ditches, slopes, power lines, slippery and unstable surfaces, overhead obstacles and any other hazards that may affect the stability of the mobile work platform or harm workers using it.
A risk assessment will provide a comprehensive guide to workers on how they should be using the platform and what precautions should be taken before engaging in work.
Providing proper training to the workers on how to use the work platform is paramount for safety.
The training should be general as well as on-the-job. It should include ways to use a work platform and the safety protocol that must be followed during work. Several worst-case scenarios should also be covered to ensure that workers know what to do in case things go wrong.