Elevated Work Platform Safety – Part of the MOL Blitz for August 2011

by mcd_souter on August 19, 2011

in accident prevention, legislation, safe work practices, Safety training

The Ontario Ministry of Labour Safety Blitz for the month of the August 2011 focuses on access equipment.  Access equipment includes elevated work platforms and ladders. Last post you learned about ladder safety.  This time you will find out about elevated work platform safety practices.

 Falls are one of the most common causes of occupational fatalities. Since elevated work platforms and ladders pose fall hazards, following recommended safety standards can reduce accidental injuries and deaths.

 The August 2011 blitz primarily targets the construction sector. This includes firms that contract out construction projects. Inspectors will be checking for compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act as it relates to fall hazards, with particular attention placed on requirements for fall protection equipment and adequate worker training.

 OHSA- Section 25(2)(A), (D) and (H) – Regulation 851 – Section 51(2) – Regulation 213 – Section 26
*CSA Standards: B354.2 Self Propelled Elevating Work Platforms and B354.4 Self-Propelled Boom-Supported Elevating Work Platforms, require that only qualified personnel who have been trained regarding the inspection, operation, and application of an aerial platform, including the recognition and avoidance of hazards associated with the operation, shall operate an aerial platform.

 Here are three MOL fact sheets relating to safety standards for access equipment, that you might find helpful for training your workers.

Elevated Work Platforms
Ladder Safety
Suspended Equipment

Making sure your workers are adequately trained should be your number one priority.

 Elevated Work Platforms Safety

 Identification

To effectively ensure that an elevated work platform is safe, you need to know how to identify hazards. This can be accomplished by testing the lift controls every day prior to the platform being used. At this time you can determine if the platform is in safe operating order.

Prevention/Solution 

There are guidelines for the speed of elevated platforms to prevent injuries or falls. For example, the maximum speed of the platform should not exceed 50 feet per minute for single-speed hoists. Guard rails should be installed on elevated platforms to protect workers from falling off of the platform.

 Cautions

Take extra precautions when working around electrical equipment, such as overhead power lines. The risk of elevated platforms interfering with power lines can be fatal to the operators of the machinery, due to the potential for electrocution.

Aerial Work Platform Safety Guidelines

There are different types of aerial work platforms, such as:

  • elevating work platforms,
  • scaffolds,
  • scissor lifts, and
  • cherry pickers.

They provide temporary work surfaces and access at heights, are designed to be moved and used where needed and are used to lift and hold limited weight. They can be un-powered, self-propelled or vehicle-mounted. Special precautions and procedures are necessary for safe assembly and use of aerial work platforms.

They provide temporary work surfaces and access at heights, are designed to be moved and used where needed and are used to lift and hold limited weight. They can be un-powered, self-propelled or vehicle-mounted. Special precautions and procedures are necessary for safe assembly and use of aerial work platforms.

Aerial Work Platform Accidents to Avoid

Situations to be avoided with training, safe work practices and OHSA compliance include:

  • uneven and unstable surfaces or bases,
  • overhead objects falling, working near live power sources,
  • working without fall protection,
  • equipment tipping over and
  • crush and pinch accidents and injuries.

Footings and Supports

 OHSA requires scaffolding footings and supports to be:

  • Level and secured with guys, ties and braces where necessary, especially if loaded with uneven weight to prevent tipping, swaying or any kind of displacement.
  • The original assembly and safety inspection must be performed by a trained worker or supervisor according to manufacturer’s instructions, with no alteration.
  • Scaffolds must not be stacked or assembled on top of any unstable objects that are not part of the equipment.
  • All supports, including bracing, ties and guys must be properly secured and be able to support at least four times their weight.

Guard Rails

OHSA requires guard rails on all open ends and sides of scaffolds and in specific situations such as on walkways and when performing bricklaying. There are specific requirements for mid-rails, screens, mesh and solid panels for guard rails. Guard rails must be able to withstand specific weight requirements, and must be surfaced to prevent injury to employees moving and working between them.

Fall Protection

OSHA requires personal fall protection systems used on scaffolds to be attached in a specific manner for safety and security. Safe points for anchoring fall protection include structural parts of buildings and preclude detachable parts like gutters, piping, vents or electrical cords and wires.

Below are links for CSA standards on each type of elevated platform.

CAN/CSA-B354.1-04 (R2009)    Portable Elevating Work Platforms
CAN/CSA-B354.2-01 (R2006)    Self-Propelled Elevating Work Platforms
CAN/CSA-B354.4-02 (R2007)    Self-Propelled Boom-Supported Elevating Work Platforms
CAN/CSA-B354.5-07    Mast-Climbing Work Platforms
CAN/CSA-Z271-10    Safety code for suspended platforms

Check out the YouTube elevated platform training video links below.
Scissor Lift Safety Training
 Boom Lift Safety Training

 Download an info sheet on elevated work platform hazard identification and safe operating practices.

 Let me know if any of the links, videos or downloads were helpful to you.

Remember   – Think Safety…Work Safely

Dedicated to helping you on your Health & Safety Journey.

Sandra McDonald- Souter
Health & Safety Trainer & Consultant

 

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