I think we all know Scissor Lift Health and Safety Training is important, operating any type of machinery can be dangerous. Training and education of the specific risks attached with each type of machine operations will greatly reduce the chances of accidents or incidents.
Any equipment that is specifically designed to allow the user to work safely at height e.g. ladders, scaffolds, tower scaffolds or work platforms, including scissor lifts are commonly called ‘access equipment’. Considering the risks associated with work at height activities and putting in place sensible and proportionate measures to manage them is an important part of working safely.
Here are our top 5 reasons for essential Scissor Lift Health and Safety Training
Reason one: The law, Working at Height Regulations 2005
Who do the Regulations apply to?
If you are an employer or you control work at height (for example if you are a contractor or a factory owner), the Regulations apply to you.
How do you comply with these Regulations?
Employers and those in control of any work at height activity must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. This includes using the right type of equipment for working at height.
Low-risk, relatively straightforward tasks will require less effort when it comes to planning. Employers and those in control must first assess the risks. Take a sensible, pragmatic approach when considering precautions for work at height. Factors to weigh up include the height of the task; the duration and frequency; and the condition of the surface being worked on. There will also be certain low-risk situations where common sense tells you no particular precautions are necessary.
The most fatal and serious injuries involving MEWPs are the next four reasons for Scissor Lift Safety Training and arise from:
Reason 2: Entrapment
An operator trapped between part of the basket and a fixed structure, eg when manoeuvring in confined overhead areas of steelwork. Operators may become trapped against the platform controls, and if this happens they may not be able to stop the machine running.
Reason 3: Overturning
The machine may overturn throwing the operator from the basket;
Reason 4: Falling
An operator may fall from the basket during work activities;
Reason 5: Collision
The vehicle may collide with pedestrians, overhead cables or nearby vehicles.
Controlling the risk
It is important to select the right MEWP for the job, is this a Scissor lift or Boom machine? taking into account the site, the task to be completed, the conditions and other factors raised in the risk assessment.
Have a plan for rescuing someone from a MEWP and practise it – someone on the ground should know what to do in an emergency lower and how to operate the machine’s ground controls.
There are a number of precautions that can reduce the risk from MEWP hazards. These are:
- Confined overhead working: Brief operators on the dangers, and the safe system of work to be followed. If there are overhead structures against which an operator could be trapped and then pushed onto the MEWP controls, consider selecting a MEWP that has been designed to prevent such accidental contact.
MEWPs with shrouded or otherwise protected controls are available.
Keeping the platform tidy will reduce the risk of the operator tripping or losing balance while in the basket.
- Ground conditions: The platform should be used on firm and level ground. Any temporary covers should be strong enough to withstand the applied pressure. Localised ground features, eg trenches, manholes and uncompacted backfill, can all lead to overturning.
- Outriggers: Outriggers must be extended and chocked before raising the platform. Spreader plates may be necessary – check the equipment manual.
- Guardrails: Make sure the work platform is fitted with effective guard rails and toe boards.
- Arresting falls: if there is still a risk of people falling from the platform a harness with a short work restraint lanyard must be secured to a suitable manufacturer provided anchorage point within the basket to stop the wearer from getting into a position where they could fall from the carrier.
- Falling objects: barrier off the area around the platform so that falling tools or objects do not strike people below.
- Weather: high winds can tilt platforms and make them unstable. Set a maximum safe wind speed for operation. Storms and snowfalls can also damage platforms. Inspect the platform before use after severe weather.
- Handling materials: if used to install materials check the weight and dimensions of materials and consider any manual handling and load distribution issues. You may need additional lifting equipment to transport materials to the work position.
- Nearby hazards: do not operate a MEWP close to overhead cables or other dangerous machinery, or allow any part of the arm to protrude into a traffic route.
Training and competence
MEWP operators should have attended a recognised operator training course and received a Training card, listing the categories of MEWP the bearer is trained to operate. There are four different variation types of MEWP
MEWP Scissor Lifts
1A Static Vertical – Driven into position and cannot drive elevated
3A Mobile Vertical – Can drive elevated
1B Static Boom – Trailer Mounted, Van Mounted, Lorry Mounted and spider lift. Cannot drive elevated
3B Mobile Boom – Can drive elevated
Each of the above variations have their own category for testing, so if you use all four you will need multiple tests to operate the machines.
Train with us
With all the risks mentioned above it is so important to refresh your MEWP Boom and scissor lift safety training on a regular basis. The HSE recommend this every 3 to 5 years.
If you would like any details about MEWP Booms or Scissor lift training please get in touch or call on 01606 832 556.
We are waiting to help you.