The personal experience when using access equipment can be overlooked in the design phase. When this experience will be done whilst working at height, once installed, an access system can present individuals with feelings, such as vertigo, that inherently make something not feel safe.
Planet Platforms were recently approached by one of its customers to enhance the safety and feel of a rail gantry system installed by one of Planet’s competitors.
Rail gantry systems due to their very nature have personnel working at heights more than four metres from the ground. The feedback the Health and Safety team received was that users had a sense of unease that there was a real risk of tripping and falling from the train roof and in doing so, someone could easily slide through the handrails and down to the ground below.
The original suppliers of the gantry were unwilling to help in offering a solution, but Planet were only too pleased to oblige.
The resolution was to fit galvanised steel mesh netting to the gantry handrails that were capable and rated to resisting the weight of a person should they fall against them. The mesh had an additional effect in that it partially obscured the ground below giving users less of a sense of working at height.