Work Safely On Powered Platforms

Work Safely On Powered Platforms

Performing maintenance work while using a powered platform presents special hazards. One type of hazard is walking and working surfaces where the potential for falls exists.

Maintaining a safe work atmosphere on a powered platform involves proper inspection and maintenance, as well as a thorough understanding of emergency procedures.

How can I protect myself?

Follow the manufacture’s guidelines when operating and using a powered platform. Some basic rules to follow for any type of powered platform include the following:

  • Do not exceed the load rating for the powered platform in use. (The load rating is found on the platform load rating plate).
  • Clear platforms of ice, snow, and other slippery materials.
  • Protect the platform, its components, wire ropes, and lifelines from damage.
  • Do not use the platform in winds exceeding 25 miles per hour.
  • Use the mounted anemometer to measure wind velocities during the use of the platform.
  • Keep the platform free of debris, unused tools, and materials.


    To ensure the proper operation of a powered platform, competent persons must inspect it at regular intervals. Inspections of a powered platform consist of the following:

  • Checking the platform and its components for visual defects in a daily inspection before use.
  • Inspecting the building supporting structures for the powered platform on a yearly basis.
  • Inspecting all parts of the powered platform according to manufacturer’s guidelines at least yearly.
  • Inspecting and testing the governors and secondary brakes according to manufacturer’s guidelines at least yearly.
  • Inspecting all suspension wire ropes visually after each use and after each incident that might affect the rope’s integrity.
  • Examining all ropes that have not been in service for more than 30 days.

    Use a personal fall arrest system

    Another factor in safe powered platform work is the use of personal fall arrest systems. A personal fall arrest system limits the fall of a worker from the platform. The personal fall arrest system consists of a full body harness, lanyard, rope grabs, lifeline, lifeline anchorage points, and riggings.

    When using a personal fall arrest system, you should know and understand the following items:

  • Application limits.
  • Proper anchoring and tie-off techniques.
  • Deceleration distance.
  • Elongation distance.
  • Damage.
  • Other deterioration.
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