Safe Work At Height With Aerial Work Platforms

A 34-year-old man from Colchester has been seriously injured after using a makeshift aerial work platform in order to replace a light fitting. The incident occurred at Adhere Industrial Tapes in Colchester a year ago, and the injured man is still undergoing physiotherapy and using crutches, faced with the prospect that he may never work again after suffering multiple fractures to his skull, leg, back and wrist. The man, who has not been named, was standing on a cobbled-together aerial work platform which had been created by placing a metal cage on top of a wooden pallet, before being lifted by another truck. As he began to carry out maintenance on a light fixture, the cage fell from the truck’s forks and the man fell a total of seven metres to the ground.

It was ruled by Colchester Magistrate’s Court last week that the company involved had failed to ensure that right procedures and equipment were in place to carry out work at height. The work that the man carried out was not properly planned, nor was it appropriately supervised. The company involved was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after it was revealed that none of the company’s drivers had been trained in lifting persons, nor were the essential safeguarding standards adhered to. Restraint harnesses were overlooked and there was no means to secure the cage to the forks of the truck. The work was inherently dangerous and did not conform with the health and safety standards laid down by the government; the man should have been using a verified, safe and secure aerial work platform for the job, which would have surely prevented his injury and saved his career.

Aerial work platforms offer a safe and economical solution for one person to work at height, and features such as their emergency down and stop buttons, levelling indicators and the closed-in nature of the platform help to ensure an employee’s safety when using one. They are most popularly used in hospitals, schools, warehouses and other areas where carrying out maintenance at height is often required. Most aerial work platforms are supplied with integrated chargers and built-in battery indicators, and are considered to be much more versatile than static mobile towers, as their heights can be adjusted with just the touch of a button. This also contributes to safety regulations, as should employees experience a problem whilst working at height, it is a simple process to return them to the ground.

It is vital for all companies to ensure that safe systems of work are in place to protect their workforce, and it is also the company’s responsibility to provide the correct equipment for all tasks which need to be carried out. If there is the chance of any employee having to carry out work at height, companies must ensure they purchase an aerial work platform such as Midland Pallet Truck’s MJCPT 3.0m mobile aerial work platform, rather than allowing employees to construct a dangerous alternative which could put them at risk.



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