Whether you’re a first time or regular user, it’s wise to never become complacent when operating plant machinery. If you follow a certain procedure, pay due care and attention and remember your training, then you will minimise the risk of injuries and damages. If you’re going to do something, then you may as well do it right, below are some pointers to help you with that…
First and foremost – Training.
Now, from our point of view we do not require an operative to have received any formal training in order to hire a unit to them (although an ever-increasing amount of sites are asking to see proof of adequate training). But, we do suggest it. For those who don’t know, IPAF is the internationally recognised accreditation in compliance with MEWP operation. Category 1b covers you for the use of our vehicle mounted machines, we run this course here at Smart. For more information you can contact our training department on 03339009100.
Secondly, your handover.
We offer a full handover familiarisation on all machines before your hire commences, this is conducted by a qualified member of staff trained to an IPAF Demonstrator level. Even if you are a regular user, it is always worth checking that you’ve used that particular unit before, and that it’s functions are still fresh in your mind; because each machine varies. If you get to site and your mind goes blank (it happens to the best of us), then please see the control guide and manual to jog your memory. Past that, feel free to give us a call, that’s what we’re here for. However, please bare in mind that if it’s an ‘operator error’ and an engineer has to be called out, then there will be a charge. Obviously we will discuss this with you at the time, but it’s just worth keeping your ears pricked during the initial handover to ensure a smooth, surcharge-free day.
Setting up, the hardest bit.
The control functions within the basket remain fairly similar, and simple; the most difficult piece of the process in my opinion is setting the unit up correctly. You want to park as close as possible, because at the end of the day a metre away on the ground is a metre of outreach that you lose in the air. However, you also want to set up in a safe location, of course. It’s simply all about observation, which I know is easier said than done – when you’re on your 10th lift of the day, or you’ve been working all night. But, if you integrate into your process evaluating your surroundings before putting the Jacks down then it’ll become second nature. Things to bare in mind:
- Overhead Power Cables
- Manhole Covers and Drains
- Wind Speed (we sell anemometers here) – the suggested safe speed is <28mph.
- Are your Jack Pads down?
- Has your harness been inspected? Are you wearing a harness?
- Is TM required?
- It’s always worth bringing at least four cones and a reel of barrier tape, just so you can cordon off the machine to prevent access to the public.
- If you have the manpower, a groundsman proficient in the emergency lowering procedures is a very good idea.
Those are just a few pointers, which you may already be familiar with, but are worth highlighting nonetheless. Whenever we provide a machine with one of our operators we fill in a Risk Assessment & Method Statement, you may find typing one up beneficial; food for thought.
Finally, when operating one of our machines (even if you have years of experience) please refrain from touching the emergency descent valves without speaking to one of our engineers first. We’re only a phone call away and are always happy to help.
Smart Platform Rental Ltd