Whether you are renting a scissor lift, knuckle boom, ladder, duct lift, pallet jack or any other elevated work platform designed to give construction laborers safer access to elevated areas it pays to avoid these crucial mistakes.
By understanding the five most common mistakes made during the rental of access equipment, project managers will find themselves in a better position to select the most appropriate access equipment for their needs.
Five Common Mistakes
Mistakes in renting access equipment can be costly, not only to the bottom line but also in terms of safety and productivity. By avoiding these common mistakes, managers can make smarter specification decisions.
Too often, managers fail to consider potential hazards associated with the use of elevated work platforms. Common hazards related to lifts that lead to workplace injury or death are falls, objects falling from heights, tip-overs, ejections from platforms, collapses, electric shock, entanglements, contact with objects while moving, and contact with ceilings or overhead objects.
In some cases, several of these hazards are present at the same time. For example, a worker could touch an electrified object and receive a shock, causing a fall from the platform.
Managers also can fail to fully consider training during the specification process. EWPA recommends training and re-training at appropriate times. Training should follow any major changes, such as accidents that occur during the use of an EWP, when workplace hazards are found and when users are about to use a different EWP or accessory, such as fall protection, hoists, welding equipment, and power cables.
Managers should not assume that yesterday’s and today’s specifications are the same. It is a big mistake to hire a scissor for a job site using the same specifications as last time. Doing so creates two risks. First, the lift needs and job site conditions might be different than when the last hire occurred. Second lifts with new technology might offer safer, more productive alternatives at a lower cost.
Underestimating or overestimating functional requirements can be a big problem. For example, a manager specifies a boom lift when obstructions on the job site actually require employees to use an articulated boom lift. The boom lift might only satisfy height requirements. This mistake could lead to technicians leaning or climbing out of the platform to reach to the job, which is a dangerous situation.
Underestimating or overestimating a lift’s reach requirements also can be problematic. If crews use a lift with a boom that is too long or too short, this could change the working conditions. For example, a unit with too long a boom could result in the need to lower the boom so the weight is far off center of mass, causing an imbalance beyond the ability of the lift to control, resulting in a tip-over. Using too short a boom could result in the worker trying to reach the job by climbing onto the platform railing or building structure and falling.