Buying an access platform is only the first step, it is absolutely crucial that everyone who uses it is properly trained, uses the appropriate safety gear and that the lifting equipment itself is correctly maintained to a service schedule. Wherever you buy your access platform from, they should be able to offer you and your staff training in how to use the equipment, or at the very least point you in the direction of someone who can.
Step one is training. As you would expect from an industry that helps people carry out work at heights, the access industry is high regulated and certain training must be carried out before any staff member can be allowed to use the equipment. As part of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations Act 1998 (PUWER), the law states that anyone using lifting equipment such as scissor lifts, boom lifts or cherry pickers, must have undergone the correct training, and received their accreditation.
Training courses can be run from various training centres, or at your company’s premises using your own equipment. The benefit of this is that your staff not only receives the right accreditation, but they also gain experience with safely using the very equipment they will be working with. Most training will work towards gaining a Certificate of Training so that workers are accredited to use access equipment according to IPAF (International Powered Access Federation) rules.
Step two is getting the right safety equipment. As you and your staff will now be aware (having completed the appropriate training courses), you need the right clothing and equipment in order to stay safe while working at height on your scissor lifts and other access equipment. High visibility vests ensure you can be easily seen in the working environment, while a safety helmet provides some protection against head injury from falling debris. A safety harness is obviously essential to prevent you falling too far in the event of an accident.
Step three is maintaining your access equipment. It is no good having excellently trained staff if the scissor lifts or articulated booms they are using are poorly maintained. If you own an access platform, the law requires your machines to be inspected on a six-monthly basis under the LOLER 1998 regulations. Aside from the legalities, if you notice any issues it only makes sense to have them looked at and repaired before it could potentially cause an accident.