Staying Safe on An Elevated Work Platform

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In recent years, there has been an increase in the need for hydraulic (elevated) work platforms.  With that increased need comes increased need for safety precautions.  Serious injuries can result from improper or unsafe use of elevated work platforms (EWPs), but with proper EWP training the risk can be greatly minimized.

The first step you can take in ensuring your employees are safe is to buy the right platform.  Always by from a reputable brand.  Why?  Because all the training in the world won’t matter if the equipment itself is substandard.  There are many different manufacturers of these platforms, but always choose one that is made by a company that guarantees and warrantees their equipment.  If a company offers you a “screaming deal” on a platform, that should raise a red flag for you.

Next, it’s important to use the platform for the purpose for which it was intended.  Part of the EWP training should be to inform employees about how to use – and not use – the equipment.  Improper use can lead to serious injury.  The limitations of the platforms include things like the maximum height and weight of the operator.  Be sure your employees understand the perils of ignoring these limitations.

EWP Training In addition, it’s important that the equipment not be overused.  Platforms, like all other types of equipment, are designed to perform at optimal levels within the constraints of a certain amount of work.  Exceeding that workload to compromise performance and, as a result, safety.

Always perform routine maintenance and performance checks on your EWP.  Consult the manual to determine the kinds of checks and maintenance you should be doing on your unit, and stick to a strict maintenance schedule.  It may seem unnecessary to maintain a brand-new piece of equipment, but that is faulty thinking.  Even if your EWP is new, it’s important to perform safety checks and regular maintenance to keep the platform working properly and also to keep your employees safe when they use the platform.  It’s much better to do regular maintenance than to have to deal with an injured employee later.

An EWP can be a big asset to your business’ productivity and workflow, but it’s not without its responsibilities.  If you are going to procure one for your business, you should make training your employees on the safe operation of the unit your number-one priority.  There are third-party companies that you can call in to educate and train your employees on the safe operation of the platform.  This will ensure the platform performs as it should for as long as possible and, much more importantly, that your employees are safe.  Unsafe operation can result in serious injuries, so always ensure that your employees are properly trained before they are allowed to take the helm of the platform.  It’s your responsibility as the employer to take the necessary steps to protect your employees, so always ensure that you do so.

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