Why low-level access training is just as vital
Posted on 10th Aug, 2016 | By Lorretta Tatham
When thinking about working from a height, we don’t always think about the dangers of low-level access solutions, like hop-up platforms or small mobile access towers. While high-level work is typically associated with accidents and fatal injuries in the workplace, low-level access solutions carry risks too. With this in mind, we recommended low-level access training– ensuring a comprehensive overview and awareness of working safely at a height.
The risks of low-level work
Low-level access equipment is used just as much as high-level access equipment – but it’s rarely associated with health and safety risks. Low-level access solutions are defined as access solutions with a maximum platform height of 2.5m. When you think about it, it’s this type of access solution we typically use day-to-day. PASMA identified that an estimated 50,000 low-access solutions are used daily – meaning many are at risk if they don’t use them correctly.
According to the HSE, there are almost as many accidents from low-level access solutions as there are from high-level access products. With this in mind, all the usual safety protocols apply.
Incorrect set-up of low level access equipment
As will all access equipment, the correct set-up of low-level access solutions is essential to ensure your safety. Surfaces must be level and free of grime and dirt. It’s important to carry out a quality check before using your low-level access solution too – to ensure that everything is in working order.
Failing to check low level access equipment before use
Low-access solutions also need to be checked before every use. If you move your low-access solution or take a break for lunch, it’s important to check everything is still set-up correctly before getting back to work. Some of the most common errors when it comes to set-up include:
- Omitting components
- Unsecured base
- Unlocked castors
Poor balance and health when using low level equipment
All platforms and access solutions require good balance. If your balance falters, you’re at risk of a fall – which can be damaging at any height. If you’re working from low-level access solutions, physical fitness is key. If balance is a problem, you’ll need to use appropriate low-level access solutions – for example, one with guardrails and additional safety features.
Incorrect use of low level access equipment
Last, but not least, is the proper use of your low-level access solution. As with higher-level access solutions, many of the common risks apply. Potential hazards include overreaching, climbing over guardrails onto the platform, and failing to observe hazards.
Safety training tailored for low-level access
At Browns Safety Services, we offer an accredited course designed especially for low-level access. Our Low-level Access Equipment Safety Training Course covers everything from low-level equipment options to assembly, dismantling, hazards, and risks. The four hour course also has a question and answer session, where you can ask questions specific to your job or trade.
If you’re looking for more generic work at height training, why not try our Working at Height Training Course? The half-day course is an ideal accompaniment to our Low-level Access Equipment Safety Training Course.
Have you ever had an accident while working from a low-level access solution? If so, share your story with us in the comments below. Alternatively, you can tweet your story to us @BrownsLadders