There are many projects which will require employees to work at significant heights. Some common examples include streetlight maintenance, construction, warehouse logistics, and even painting tasks. Safety is obviously a major concern and such a concept should never be taken lightly. Severe injury or even death could otherwise occur as a result. This is why supervisors and similar stakeholders need to appreciate which types of powered access equipment aids safe working at height. There are numerous designs and configurations to choose from. Each of these is meant to address specific on-site requirements. So, what different types of access equipment are available and what advantages does each have to offer?
One unique feature of modern boom lifts is that they can be used for both indoor and outdoor requirements. Unlike purely vertical configurations, these lifts are capable of being extended out at an angle. This signifies that they are able to negotiate nearby obstacles while not placing the operator in danger. Boom lifts can generally be classified into two categories:
- Telescopic boom lifts
> - Articulated booms
Telescopic booms consist of a number of cylinders which can be extended through the use of hydraulic or electric power. As many are capable of extending to more than 47 metres, they offer a wide range of options. A rugged undercarriage likewise signifies that such lifts can deal with uneven terrain.
Articulated booms are commonly referred to as "cherry pickers" due to the fact that the boom itself is jointed. This sense of versatility is perfectly suited when difficult areas need to be reached without compromising safety.
Both articulated and telescopic boom lifts are equipped with safety cages so that workers can attach harnesses and similar devices to the frame during operation. This ensures that the individual will not fall to the ground if he or she loses balance.
Scissor lifts provide employees with a large and stable platform when working at heights of different ranges. Unlike the booms previously mentioned, scissor lifts extend straight up and down at a 90-degree angle with the surface below. Sometimes called accordion lifts due to the underlying mechanism, these units are equipped with guard rails, emergency shut-off systems and (sometimes) outriggers if the ground happens to be uneven. While not entirely suited for small spaces, scissor lifts are perfect within larger environments such as industrial facilities and warehouses. Such lifts are often used when working addressing tasks at lower heights.
It is interesting to note that spider lifts are actually a rather recent invention. While somewhat similar to boom lifts, these units are defined by their four legs (outriggers) which extend out from the base. In other words, such lifts appear similar to a spider. These lifts are often utilised within environments that might be difficult to negotiate with the options mentioned above. We should likewise point out that spider lifts tend to be comparatively lightweight machines. Therefore, you will encounter fewer issues with transportation and deployment. This also helps to reduce servicing costs.
Spider lifts are sometimes powered by mains electricity or onboard batteries. This is another advantage if you happen to be working within a confined area, as the dangerous fumes associated with petrol and diesel fuels are not present. Finally, spider lifts can be used for both indoor and outdoor tasks. This enables them to represent a highly versatile option if the size of the other lifts prohibits safe operation.
Safe Working at Heights: No Laughing Matter
What is access equipment in relation to safely working at heights? There are several answers to this question. First, modern regulations require that employees are provided with a secure means to accomplish their task without putting their health at risk. If such units are not employed, civil and even criminal penalties might be incurred.
The advanced nature of this equipment likewise provides users with a number of redundant safety features in the event that an accident occurs. Stable outriggers, numerous harness attachment points, cages, clear operating instructions, and the ability to control certain units from the ground are a handful of examples in this sense.
Being well aware of which types of powered access equipment aids safe working at height is critical. Employing the wrong unit at the wrong time could result in grave consequences in terms of personal injury or property damage. This is why each category should be examined in greater detail. Powered Access Solutions offers a wide array of options and all of these are maintained to the highest of standards. When safety is your main concern, we are your go-to source for advice and rentals. If you would like to speak with a trained representative, please give us a call today on 01793 953355.
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Contact Powered Access Solution to ensure your boom vehicle hire and training is up-to-date!
If you have lifting equipment on your site, give our construction site specialists at Powered Access Solutions a call on 01793279990 to ensure that your company are following health and safety procedures.