The Changing Face Of Lower Level Work At Height
Cranes & Access|July/August 2020
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The Changing Face Of Lower Level Work At Height
Working at heights of up to five metres is by far and away the biggest cause of life changing injuries and fatalities resulting from falls at height. it is also a major cause of minor strains and muscle pulls, as tradesmen move or climb ladders and steps. And yet not only are low level work platforms safer, but they are also more efficient and therefore cost effective! We take a look at the market and some of the latest new products.
Normally this time of year plant maintenance and operations managers across europe are busy planning work, including factory layout or machinery moves to be carried out during the vacation shut down period. With many plants having closed for several weeks this spring, one wonders if there is as much need for shutdown work this year? Companies may though be looking to change their production lines and reorganise plant layouts in order to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and be ready for the pickup that most are hoping for later in the year.

When carrying out such work, the importance of safely and efficiently when working at height is more critical than ever. With the ghost of Covid-19 still lurking, the last thing anyone wants is a visit to the Accident & Emergency wing of the local hospital, no matter what their injuries. So this is no time to take risks with the improper use of a ladder or pallets on fork lifts etc…

No excuses

Thankfully there has never been more choice and small platforms have never been as widely available or as inexpensive. So there is no excuse not to plan work properly and to organise the best equipment for the job. Not only is it infinitely safer, but it will save time, result in better workmanship and with fewer people on the job, might help ensure social distancing.

A market in its infancy

Rules covering the temporary work at height have been changing steadily over the past 15 years, with an increased focus on the way work is carried out at lower levels. In Europe this was kick started by the implementation in 2005 of the European Council Directive 2001/45/EC minimum safety and health requirements for the use of equipment for work at height. This brought in a key change for most countries in that work at height rules now applied at any height, rather than the usual four to five metres (platform heights of 2-3m).

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July/August 2020