29th May 2019
5 Tips to Keep on top of your Access Platform Maintenance
When kept in good condition, businesses can often enjoy the use of an access platform for many years, even ones bought used from a dealer.
A well maintained machine is not only good for the efficiency of the business, but also imperative to the safety and wellbeing of operatives. The link between workplace injury and working at height has been made clear, with falls were the most common cause of fatal accidents for workers in 2017/18. This information comes from official statistics and data for the HSE, and the report also proves that construction was the primary industry in which the fatal incidents occurred.
At AFI Resale, we’ve got some expert tips on how to keep on top of your access platform maintenance to ensure and enhance the safety of operatives.
1 – Inspect your machine daily
Provide your operatives with a checklist that they must complete before using each machine. This will assist them in performing a pre-start inspection, providing peace of mind that the platform is in full working order before a task begins. Additionally, checks should always be carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s manual. Daily inspections will also mean that any issues are spotted and reported quickly, keeping your access platform or platform fleet running efficiently.
2 – Report any issues or defects
It is vital that employees and operatives feel that they have a system in place to allow them to be proactive in recording issues or defects as and when they arise. If any faults are found during the pre-start checks of the MEWP, these should be reported to a supervisor as soon as possible, ideally the same day.
Once recorded and reported, all issues should be acknowledged and resolved within a timely manner. Aerial working platforms shouldn’t be used if there are known faults or if there’s even a small chance that it’s not safe to use. A defective access platform could quickly put operatives and others in danger.
3 – Keep logs & maintenance schedules
Maintenance logs, whilst not a legal requirement, are a useful document for keeping maintenance personnel aware of previous issues and tasks.
Only individuals who are trained should ever carry out maintenance work. Operatives should also have relevant, up to date training and certification on the use of machines. Examination certificates should be retained by the company utilising the machine and kept securely, but where it can be accessible to individuals operating the MEWP.
A simple way to extend the life of your access platform is to schedule lubrication maintenance. This can help identify areas of friction possibly due to a leak around an oil seal, which would then need to be investigated further. Regularly ensuring the machinery is properly lubricated can keep it running smoothly for many years to come.
Worn parts should be replaced quickly, before they have a chance to negatively affect the functionality of the machine or damage other parts. Inspections should naturally form part of your organisation’s risk assessments.
4 – Third-party examination every 6 months
This may come as a surprise, but all powered access platforms must be professionally examined every six months (minimum) by a trained CAP (Competent Assessed Person) qualified person .
LOLER, or The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (1998), is much like an MOT for your car or van. It’s a legal requirement that ensures the MEWP is safe for use and fit for purpose. This examination is far more detailed than your typical pre-start check or inspection and investigates, among other things, whether the machine is structurally sound and functioning correctly.
5 – Know who to call if you have a breakdown
Accidents happen and if for some reason, you find that your access platform has broken down and that you are unable to fix it, make sure that you have your access partner’s breakdown details to hand. Most suppliers will be able to provide breakdown cover as part of a service and maintenance agreement. Therefore, just like car breakdown cover, this can help give you the peace of mind of a helping hand, should you have a machine breakdown.
AFI Resale are one of the leading access platforms dealers in the UK and also export to a number of countries worldwide. Our services range from sales to maintenance and service contracts, so if we can help in anyway with your access platform needs, let us know.