Bespoke access platforms are used widely within a manufacturing setting. Their use in such a situation results from several factors that ultimately lead to the end user operating in a safer manner.
Why use a bespoke access platform for manufacturing?
If you are reading this, we would like to think that your answer to this question is that it is important to you that your personnel always work safely at height. This is how it should be, but what determined you to get to this position in the first place?
When Planet Platforms is approached to design, manufacture and install a bespoke access platform it is the result of one significant fact. Presented quite simply, you will go to assess a work at height task and find that there is no commercial off-the-shelf option available to you. In order to work at height safely, this task will need some form of access equipment that has been designed specifically for the job. More overly, a bespoke access platform.
Bespoke access platforms and the work at height regulations 2005
Falls from height are among the highest contributors to workplace injuries and unfortunately deaths. The 2005 regulations sought to address this and came up with legislation to address this issue.
The hierarchy of control is the central theme of the work at height regulations.
Avoid – Avoid work at height if you can. For example, bring the task at hand to ground level.
Prevent – If work at height can’t be avoided then put measures in place to prevent a fall from occurring and for example, placing guardrails and other means to stop a person from falling.
Minimise – If work at height can’t be avoided, and measures to prevent a fall from occurring can’t be put in place, then systems must be adopted to minimise the risks to personnel should a fall occur. For example, the use of a restraint system that prevents someone from getting to this position.
The aim should be always to be as high as possible in this hierarchy of control.
But the regulations go further than just this hierarchy. All work at height must be planned. Additionally, the correct equipment must be used, personnel must be trained in its safe use and this equipment must be adequately maintained.
Using the correct equipment
The risk assessment and method statement for safe work at height will help to identify the correct piece of equipment that must be used. As we have seen, if this assessment identifies that there is no commercial off-the-shelf product available to do so then the only option is to look for a bespoke access platform.
Materials for manufacturing bespoke access platforms
The majority of our bespoke access platforms are manufactured using aluminium. The main reasons for this are that it is incredibly lightweight when compared to other materials whilst also being very strong. Giving us agile and manoeuvrable platforms that are commonly set on a series of braked and swivel castors.
We have multiple extruded profiles from which to choose meaning that the designs we can offer are limitless. And one final point is that aluminium doesn’t rust.
Where periods of work are over longer times, greater distances and with more personnel we will then consider using steel as the primary material for manufacture. These systems will tend to be fixed in situ.
If the situation arises where metal cannot be used then we have a more niche material, which is fibreglass. There are many properties of fibreglass that come to the fore as a choice for material for manufacturing bespoke access platforms. It is electrical, spark, chemical, and weather resistant and so can be used in an environment where metal would not only degrade but present a hazard to the user. We have seen this extensively in the rail manufacturing sector where third-rail and overhead electrification and very present dangers.
The resources at our disposal for designing manufacturing access platforms
The design library that we have amassed over the last 25 years has over 8,000 individual projects. This lets us to draw from a wealth of past experience, enabling us to return to you with known working concepts that can be quickly evaluated in terms of suitability and costs.
We design using the latest 3D Autodesk® Inventor software with supporting technical documents and manuals using the Autodesk® Publisher.
These in-house resources from design, manufacturing, installation, and inspection gives us complete project control and a competitive advantage.
Are you looking for a bespoke access platform for manufacturing?
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And remember, you don’t need to fall far to fall hard.