When choosing to add access platforms to your work environment, or if the nature of your business requires them all the time, it is important to make sure all users are properly trained to use the equipment and that a maintenance plan is performed regularly. When you purchase a work platform, the manufacturer usually has a minimum service recommendation and often the option to have them provide the regular service and maintenance for a nominal charge. Provided you or someone in your company is properly trained, these preventative maintenance measures can often be made in house.
The first step in guarantying safe access platform use is providing proper training. OSHA standard 1910.66 Subpart F 10.”Training.” states: “An acceptable training program should also include employee instruction in basic inspection procedures for the purpose of determining the need for repair and replacement of platform equipment. In addition, the program should cover the inspection, care and use of the personal fall protection equipment required in paragraph (j)(1) of the standard.” Training can be provided on or offsite, but it is important that personnel and users of the equipment are accredited prior to operation. Quality training is essential to having all types of equipment well maintained.
Another important thing to adhere to is following safety clothing and equipment guidelines set in place by the manufacturer and OSHA. The location of the access platform and the nature of the work being performed will establish the need for safety gear such as helmets, reflective vests, and harnesses. High visibility is also recommended and often required so other persons in the work area can easily see those using the access platforms.
Machines should be inspected before and after each use as a best practice, but a thorough examination by a supervisor or outside inspector should be performed ever six months. When something is flagged as an issue at any time, the equipment should not be used until the problem is addressed and the faulty part is repaired or replaced. Even if it appears to be a small issue, it can compromise the safety of all employees in the work environment. Also advise equipment users to report any mishaps or defects they notice immediately, that way you can be sure the platform and any associated parts and equipment are in good working order.
The benefits of having your access platforms maintained should not be overlooked. If an issue is not addressed in a timely fashion it can cause injuries or result in the possible loss of life. Additionally, the cost to repair the machinery could go up the longer it takes to be fixed. Keeping your equipment well maintained is much cheaper, and will provide you with the best output with safe performance on a regular basis.
While implementing a safer platform, you may want to add slip resistance to the surface. This will give workers a sure-footed step while entering and exiting their work environment. SlipNOT® Metal Safety Flooring manufactures an all metal non-slip coating which is offered in different grades of slip resistance and has been used on a variety of access platforms. SlipNOT® products have a coefficient of friction that is greater than or equal to 0.85, exceeding all OSHA recommendations.