Regardless of the name used, a mobile work platform is used primarily to lift workmen and light tools to elevated work places and areas. Mobile work platforms may be referred to as cherry pickers, scissors lifts, hydraulic work platforms, etc. Mobile works platforms must be properly maintained and operated provide a safe means of performing work at heights. A mobile work platform has three major components: a mobile chassis, an articulating arm, boom or scissors structure, and the working platform.
In the operation and work which involves mobile work platforms, the following safety precautions are a must. The general safety requirementsfor mobile work platforms are as follows:
1. A safety work load (SWL) label should be placed in each mobile work platform shall be marked with the safe work load (SWL) limit. A limit label should also post for the allowable number of persons that may be lifted by the platform.
2. In the driver's control board , the maximum gradient that the mobile platform can be used on should be marked on it. This will allow the driver for immediate notice and reaction prior to its operation.
3. Also, all controls on the mobile work platform which includes the emergency controls shall be clearly marked as to their function and method of operation.
4. All markings and labels must be clearly visible to the operators and workers as they stand within the work platform.
5. The recommended tire pressure settings set by the manufacturer should be clearly marked adjacent to each tire.
6. Welding and other forms of alteration on the structural members of the mobile work platforms shall only be performed under authority of a certified inspector. Also, the mobile work platform's technical specifications should be supplied by the manufacturer during this modification.
7. It is a good practice to ensure that the floor of the work platform will be located on a non-slip surface .
8. All work platform floors should be designed to allow water drainage , preventing water accumulation on the platform floor.
9. The sides of the work platform shall be enclosed by a top guard rail with a height of at least one meter high, and include an intermediate guard rail at an equal spacing between the floor and top rail. All sides must be enclosed by a toe board not less than 15 centimeter high.
10. The access gates of a work platform shall open to the inside of the work platform and when released, the gates shall automatically return to the closed and locked position.
11. All work platforms should be fitted with an inclinometer . Mobile platforms which are used on gradients with the platform raised shall be equipped with a tolerance warning alarm.
12. When installing and replacing a control levers and button s to work platforms, it should be of the dead-man type. When released, they shall automatically return to the neutral position. Control levers and buttons must also be design wherein it prevents accidental operation.
13. In the work platforms control panel, a fail safe emergency stop device should be provided.
14. Pertaining to the platforms chassis, an emergency lowering device should be provided.
15. Each mobile work platforms should be equipped with an automatic, audible and visible warning devicethat shall activate when the platform exceeds 110% of its safe workings load (SWL).
16. A limit switch must be provided for each mobile platform which will prevent it from lifting more than 110% of its safe working load (SWL) from the lowered position.
17. Articulated or telescopic booms should have linkages designed to keep the work platform horizontal. A safety limit device should be fitted to prevent over centering.
18. In an event of a power mechanism failure , the mobile platforms should prevent from sudden movement. Safety devices must be in-place to prevent this scenario from happening. Scissors type platforms shall be fitted with guards to eliminate pinch points.
19. In instances wherein pinch points cannot be properly guarded, they should be labeled with high visibility safety tape. Minimum clearance between moving parts should also be defined as follows: 30mm between horizontally adjacent scissors arms, 50mm between vertically adjacent scissors arms, 50mm between scissors arms and platform, both horizontally and vertically, 50mm between scissors arms and chassis, both horizontally and vertically.
20. When working in the platform, a safety harness or belt shall be worn at all times by each person. The lanyard must be attached to a secure anchor point.
21. Leaning out on the platforms is prohibited to all workers. To gain extra height or reach, it is also prohibited to use ladders and boxes.
22. The worker must wear a safety helmet with chin strap when working inside the work platform.
23. And lastly, a portable fire extinguisher must by equip for each mobile work platform.
When using forklifts and other types of industrial trucks , safety precautions must always be followed by the operator and worker as follows:
1. A limit device should be equipped or provided for each overhead electric hoist. The purpose is to stop the hook after traveling at its highest and lowest point of safe travel.
2. Forklift operators must be trained in the proper use of hoist and are only allowed to operate forklifts. Also, only trained personnel are allowed to operate industrial trucks.
3. For high lift rider equipment, substantial overhead protective equipment should be provided to protect both the operator and workers.
4. The operating rules and safety precautions must be posted and enforced religiously for each lift truck.
5. A warning device such as horn, whistle, gong, or other device which can be clearly heard above normal noise in areas where there is an operation should be equipped for each industrial truck.
6. The operator or company must ensure that the industrial truck is equipped with brakes that are capable of bringing the vehicle to a complete and safe stop when fully loaded.
7. To effectively prevent the industrial truck from moving especially when not attended, it should be provided with a parking brakes .
note: originally posted at Exposeknowledge.com under the same author.