Work platforms provide elevation and lift for performing tasks. Work platforms may temporarily raise people to reach items at height, or raise items to a safe ergonomic working height for people based on the ground.
Work platforms for undertaking work at heights help with a range of tasks needing vertical mobility. These include reaching overhead equipment and light fittings, painting, decorating, loading, and unloading trucks without a back-lift or dock, stock picking in warehouse and distribution centers, construction, electrical work, building and equipment maintenance, and so on.
The manufacture and use of any work platforms used for working at height, whether stationary or mobile, must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements due to the high falls risk. Safety features required for platforms used for elevating people to work at heights include handrails, safety chains, mesh back panels, anti-slip treads, and weight bearing capacity ratings.
Types of work platforms for elevating people to work at higher levels include rolling ladders and staircases with wide based designs and foot brakes, stock pickers, one or two-person platform cages, one or two-person maintenance lifts, tanker top lifts, and hydraulic and pneumatic scissor lifts.
Extra fittings to aid the performance of tasks include side and sliding tool trays, light bulb and fluorescent tube caddies, and stock picker shelves. These accessories also ensure the safe transportation of tools and equipment and reduce the risk of dropping handheld equipment or tripping on material placed on the floor of the cage.
Other accessories available specifically for additional safety include lanyards and safety harnesses made from strong webbing to assist with fall prevention. Portable emergency stop button kits for workers are available for workers to have remote control of the platform while they are elevated if needed.
Portable and permanent work-height platforms assist with raising items, and people small distances, to work within ergonomically safe working zones – that is between waist and shoulder height.
Types of work platforms to assist with lifting items to safe working height include adjustable mobile platform trucks with lockable wheels or castors, and portable pneumatic and hydraulic scissor lift tables to raise and lower objects to various heights safely.
In order to elevate people to reach optimum working heights, options include adjustable steel work platforms to create level standing surfaces, variable height platforms to raise employees in small increments, and one-two rung steps to raise workers up to ideal heights.
Other types of work platforms to consider when planning and maximizing height space within a work environment include permanently elevated platforms in conjunction with mezzanine levels to store infrequently used items.
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