If you need to hire access equipment, choosing the right type means the difference between keeping your employees safe and putting them in danger. Understanding the risks you may encounter and how to overcome them during the hiring process will make executing your project easier.
Using a tower that's the wrong height
Working at height isn't always an easy matter, and when you hire equipment that is too tall or too short, it is risky. First, if your tower is too short, it will cause your staff to stretch as they conduct their work. This may lead to a repetitive strain injury in the arms, shoulders or back. On the other hand, incorrectly securing the tower can lead to falls, which poses a risk to personnel standing on it and surrounding structures.
The simplest way to overcome hiring the wrong tower height is to take careful measurements. If you're not feeling confident, ask those you're hiring your access equipment from to do the work for you.
Hiring a ladder that's not suitable for your terrain
According to SafeWork Australia, falls from ladders account for more fatalities than falls from other heights. Typical injuries an employee may incur include fractures, crushing, sprains and dislocations. As a result, they spend time off work, which means a loss of earnings for them and reduced productivity for you.
Fortunately, there are ways around this if you're working on an uneven terrain. You can either opt for an all-terrain ladder or use a platform that's more stable than the ground you're working on. To enhance safety, choose a ladder with adjustable notches that allow you to customise the height. Finally, make sure you angle it at roughly 75 degrees to the wall, which prevents the feet from kicking out.
Choosing a lift your staff isn't familiar with
Lifts are infinitely useful when it comes to accessing great heights. However, if you hire a model your employees aren't familiar with, you may cause a crush injury, or they may tip the vehicle over by accident. In addition to potential human injuries, this delays your project and incurs repair costs.
If your staff uses a lift regularly, try to hire it again and again for consistency. If not, provide them with training to ensure they're safe when using the lift you hire.
If you're ever unsure as to whether you're aiming for the right access equipment, ask the supplier's opinion. They'll have the experience and expertise you need to reduce risk.