Managing Safety With Access Platforms

Dec 18, 2015

Every employer has the responsibility to provide a safe workplace and must comply with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Workplace Health and Safety is the issue of complete physical, mental and social well-being within a workplace. When an employee goes to work each day, they should expect to return home uninjured and in the same state of health as they left. Regardless of the nature of their work, workers should be able to carry out their responsibilities in a safe and secure working environment, free from hazards. Workplace injury can be costly, for both the employee and the employer. In the 2008-09 financial year, workplace injuries, diseases and fatalities, cost the economy an estimated $60.6 billion in forgone economic activity, or 4.8 per cent of Australia’s total GDP. Furthermore, mismanagement of safety can be damaging to a business’ reputation.

Prevention is Key

The risk of workplace injury can be managed by taking steps to identify sources of harm and implements measures to manage them. Working at heights presents a significant risk and the employer has a responsibility to identify and manage fall hazards. The Working at Heights Guideline defines a fall hazard as “a situation where a person is exposed to a risk of a fall from one level to another that is reasonably likely to cause injury. The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 has specific requirements regarding the management of fall hazards. These requirements “apply to all fall hazards from one level to another, regardless of the distance from the ground, including the use of low level platforms and hazards. The regulation provides a five level hierarchy of control that stipulates the options to manage fall hazards. The hierarchy begins with the most effective hazard control strategy (level one) through to lower order controls, which can only be used when it is not reasonably practicable to use a higher order one. The fall from heights hierarchy of control is:
Level 1: Eliminate the hazard by performing the work on the ground or on a solid construction.
Level 2: Use a passive fall protection device; e.g. elevating work platform, workbox, building maintenance units.
Level 3: Use a work positing system; e.g. industrial rope access system or travel restraint system.
Level 4: Use a fall arrest system; e.g. catch platforms, industrial safety nets.
Level 5: Use a ladder or implement administrative controls; fixed/portable ladder and work procedures.

Access Platforms: the Alternative

When managing fall hazards, Bailey Ladderweld Access Platforms (previously called order pickers) are a good option. They provide a range of safety advantages and are made to the Australian and New Zealand Standard 1892.1. Bailey Access Platforms are a functional and portable alternative to expensive custom made solutions and tilt-and-tows. Bailey Access Platforms have a handrail at 900mm above the platform and comply with the scaffolding edge protection standards. They have an industrial load rating of 170kg but they are tested at many times this load rating resulting in their impressive strength and durability. They are highly portable and are light and easy to push around, which increases productivity and efficiency and is of particular benefit when working on a vehicle. Bailey Access Platforms have a manually operated braking system with a high-vis powder coated activation arm.
Once the arm is in the locked position it helps to prevent unauthorised use by blocking the rungs. Bailey Access Platforms are fully welded, manufactured from heavy duty aluminium and have steel bracing, protecting it from impact damage. Bailey’s clever design provides an access platform to suit different business’s needs. Removal of the yellow rear guards quickly converts the unit into a walk through design complete with safety gate. Furthermore, the new designs allow users to work from three sides. When it comes to safety don’t take a chance, trust the number one ladder brand in Australia.