Working at height can be a challenge. Not only do you need to ensure you can work safely, but efficiently too. When selecting your work equipment it's best to think about the types of tasks you are required to do and where you carry out your work, to figure out which kind of platform will best suit your needs.
If your work regularly involves travelling around from one location to another you may need to consider the weight of your platform step. The type of jobs often performed by painters and decorators, or window cleaners can mean a lot of climbing up and down and moving of steps. This can be arduous and tiring. So a way to help to lessen your load is to select a light, easy to carry step.
Aluminium platforms are an excellent choice if you're looking for something lightweight. And don't let the lightweight nature make you presume less strength. These micro work platforms can take a perhaps surprising, amount of weight. Our aluminium platforms are a lightweight and portable solution for those hard to reach jobs.
If you've not come across a work platform before, you might perhaps have come across an alter-ego when visiting the gym? We think they rather resemble those plastic platforms used in a Step aerobics class, just think of them as the industrial version!
The aluminium platforms we can bring to your workplace are incredibly similar to the Youngman odd job multi purpose platforms you may have taken note of in your local DIY department store. Select the hop up for jobs where your ideal working height is ceiling height. Thus helping to negate the dreaded crick in the neck. "Oh I do so love decorating ceilings", said no-one ever!
Hop up platforms are also available in a folding hop version, so if you're mobile, they're great on the go. As an extra bonus they'll also take up much less space in your vehicle when folded which is amazing at that'll leave more room for your lunchbox.
Something that can go overlooked in the world of work, is the need to ensure you keep up your sustenance levels, particularly important for physical work especially when using access equipment. Lack of nutrition and hydration can leave you feeling dizzy. So, it's imperative that you take regular breaks to ensure you're feeling tip top and safe whilst working at height.
Another forethought before taking the plunge and making your podium purchase must be the heights that you generally need to reach. Do you only need an extra step up, or something a bit higher like a stable step. Or perhaps you really need to pull out all the stops and plump for something even more substantial like a podium step?
So, if you're aiming for loftier heights, you'll probably need something a bit taller than a hop up work platform.
Of course the more substantial your platform, the trickier they can be to relocate, as they're generally speaking, heavier and bulkier. Although, this is a problem which can be solved thanks to our range of podium steps which come complete with wheels. Don't worry, they're still incredibly safe and sturdy as all the wheels are fitted with brakes to ensure they stay put!
You'll find podium steps with wheels particularly prevalent in venues like theatres, events halls and arenas. These entertainment sites are forever erecting and dismantling sets and scenery. Hence the need for a platform which can be moved with minimum effort. Working on lighting rigs can be a hazardous job, some older style lights can get really hot, and that coupled with the weight of the spotlights mean it's critical that one has a sure footing.
A high quality work platform should always include an anti-slip surface. As platform ladders are used outdoors, it's essential that they remain a firm foundation underfoot, regardless of the elements! (of course we wouldn't recommend utelising work platforms during snow and icy spells. If it is completely necessary, then do ensure you de-ice your platform with some good quality rock salt prior to use!
Work platforms are included as products, when used in the workplace, that must adhere to the work at height regulations 2005. According to the legislation there is no minimum height for working at height. So, here's a brief synopsis of how you can comply.
Firstly the surface or structure on which you intend to place the platform or access tower, must be sound and secure, not only during use, but throughout erection and removal as well.
Once in-situ, the work platform must be stable, unmodified and in no way a risk of injury if the structure is accidentally displaced.
The platform height and size should be sufficient to provide a safe and big enough surface for the nature of the work required. Structures must be situated close enough together to avoid falls. And thus to avoid tools slipping in between if dropped.
Platforms under no circumstances, should be overloaded. Check the load capacity of your platform with the manufacturer if you're in any doubt.
This is just an overview of the guidelines for optimum safety during work at height, for the complete schedule visit the Legislation.gov.uk website.
The great thing about many of the work platforms at your disposal is that they are suitable for a really wide range of assignments. We mentioned the micro folding step can be perfect for low-level manual work on the move. But there is also the option of a larger, taller podiums.
Folding work platforms fit comfortably into the back of a van meaning you can have a full on platform accessible for the consummate professional, even if your business is of a mobile nature. And if you're required to conform to specific stipulations, podium steps and platforms can be acquired certified to meet the latest PAS 250 or EN-14183 specifications.
Work platforms, recurrently referred to as mobile access towers, can cover a magnitude of tasks. They are constructed with poles representational of scaffolding. Many include safety guard rails for that extra peace of mind.
Step ladders are a different kettle of fish. They certainly deliver a fantastically portable way of climbing to significant height and they contribute a significant provision for attaining access to discernible heights. The major difference between step ladders and work platforms is that they do not include that one facet guaranteeing a sure footing over a long period. That of a platform area.
The paramount feature of a work platform, somewhat portrayed by the name, is of course, the platform. Thus providing the stability and security for users to work for prolonged periods in a comfortable, practical and safe environment.
A scaffold tower, we'd be inclined to suggest, is the Mac Daddy of the family of access equipment. The most permanent of structures, best suited to extensive projects. Scaffolding can be costly but can contribute to efficiency on large-scale enterprises as workers can seamlessly manoeuvre from along lengthy platforms.
If you're utelising scaffold for your venture, don't forget to include provision for Personal Protective Equipment. This is not just hard hats and hi-vis waistcoats. Bear in mind steel toe capped boots and harnesses especially designed for use when working at height.
Fall restraint lanyards furnish workers with a safe reach, massively reducing the risk of accidental stepping off the scaffold boards. With fall restraint harnesses giving protection from injury if the worst happens and a fall occurs. They'll automatically lock before the wearer can fall far enough for a potentially catastrophic injury can occur. Phew.
A large percentage of access platforms from ESE Direct are procurable with free delivery. Many also command a short lead time so if time is of the essence, we'll have your access equipment wending it's way to you lickety-split!
Still wondering which of the products from our plethora of platforms to settle upon? No problem. For further help and advice on your access platform options, do pick up the telephone and call us on 0808 274 9290 and we'll be really happy to advise.
ESE Direct Ltd, Wensum Works, 150 Northumberland Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 4EE
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