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About Aerial Work Platforms

6/28/2013 1:11:57 PM | by Anonymous

Platforms: Aerial & Work

Aerial work platforms are mechanical devices that moves and elevates so people can access remote places, usually hard to reach high areas. They are utilized to provide support and impermanent access when required in an application temporarily. An aerial work platform consists of three major parts namely support structure, elevating work platform and the lift. Some of the industries where this device is applied include construction, emergency and maintenance works. Firefighters use a lifting platform in order to get high places instead of taking an elevator. How this platform may be thought relatively similar to cranes. However, the former can only hold a limited amount of weight and can be operated by a single person unlike cranes which are applied in heavy lifting purposes and require several personnel to assemble and operate them. A few of the many types of aerial work platforms are cherry picker, scissor lift, scaffolding and hotel lifts.


The difference between the various types of aerial work platforms can be distinguished by how it is powered and the type of metal support used. The factors that are taken into consideration in determining the type of power to use are the weight capacity of the platform and the size of the lifts. The various types of power include pneumatic, gas, electric and hydraulic systems. The metal support can be extended in different ways. A platform with a single mechanism uses a telescoping design wherein the lift is raised in a straight line. A scissor lift, on the other hand, has supports that forms into an x-shaped pattern or lifting structures that are self-propelled. Even though the support of scissor lift limits its function into vertical motion, it is capable of carrying heavier weight.


Since aerial work platforms are designed to lift people, safety is a big concern when building it. The person operating it should follow a strict safety control. The operator might need to undergo training and proper certification before he can run the platform. The training would include safe work practices when working on uneven and unstable surfaces or bases, near live power sources, without fall protection, being conscientious overhead falling objects and other incidents which may cause injuries. Working with an aerial platform is typically found easy by those who learnt how to operate it. Some have controls in the platform so that it can be operated alone by an individual.


Besides making sure that the operator is properly trained before he can work with an aerial work platform, the condition of the platform has to be strictly scrutinized to ensure its safety use. It is required to secure footings and supports with braces and ties to prevent tipping or swaying when loaded with uneven weight. Scaffolds should not be assembled on top of any object that is not part of the structure and unstable. For additional support, bracing and ties should be properly secured in all types of platforms and guard rails should be attached from all sides of scaffolds. A properly installed guard rails are those that can withstand certain weigh requirements and surfaced so that the workers can be supported effectively.

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