Business and Management

Elevated Work Platform Safety

Although the elevated work platform is recognized as the safest way to provide temporary access at high altitudes, there are still risks, including operators who are trapped or overwritten while working at height.

The operator can also become trapped in the control of the machine, which can cause the controls to cut and increase the difficulty in rescue and decrease the lift. According to HSE, there were six fatal accidents caused by traps between 2003 and 2009 – therefore it is important to be aware of the dangers and ways in which you can ensure the safety of your staff when using powered access equipment. You can navigate to get the EWP training.

The risk arises when an operative approaches an area with height in the elevated work platform. These include scissor lifts, boom lifts, personnel lifts and elevators installed in trailers.

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Roof space, beams, and overhead barriers all pose a risk to the user and extra attention must be taken when working in these conditions. The most common situation for trapping accidents is in the following limited overhead areas:

  • During the establishment of steel-framed buildings
  • When installing a channel in the roof room
  • When working in a clear roof space
  • When working next to obstacles or objects

Accidents generally occur because hazards have not been properly identified; operators do not pay attention to the obstacles around them and the movements of their aerial work platforms, or by making efforts to bypass barriers.

Traps can also occur when traveling inside or outside the work area, for example on sidewalks or uneven ground, where movement is greatly exaggerated on the platform. Even riding on a small sidewalk can result in operations being trapped between the aerial work platform and obstacles or the roof above.

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