Workers in several different industries need safe access to hard-to-reach places. And whether it be to stock inventory or inspect and maintain equipment, safety and functionality are always necessities. Industrial work platforms and platforms let workers perform their jobs to the fullest while minimizing the risk of a slip or fall.
Mechanics and managers from the military to business and commercial sectors use work platforms because they offer the best solution for their access needs. Being a professional means not compromising for anything less than the most functional tools and equipment. With the right tools, you protect your employees, and they preserve valuable assets with more effective work. Everyone wins.
If you work with or manage a team of professionals that could benefit from professional work platforms and are looking to take your maintenance routine to the next level — this guide is for you. We’ll cover the basics of professional work platforms — the different types, features and how to choose the right one for your operation.
TYPES OF INDUSTRIAL WORK PLATFORMS
There are many different types of work platforms or access platforms available, and the right solution depends on your unique requirements. You can categorize industrial work platforms into three categories — portable, stationary and adjustable. The right combination of these will allow your workers ergonomic access to even the most awkward areas.
- Portable Work Platforms
When you need safe access to hard-to-reach places across your worksite, a portable work platform or platform is an invaluable tool. For stocking inventory or routine maintenance, it’s unsafe to rely on shakey equipment like ladders and just-too-short stepstools. These types of platforms include mobile units like lifts, adjustable platforms and steps.
- Stationary Work Platforms
For ongoing access to the same elevated or awkward area, a stationary work platform might be the best solution for you. Instead of moving equipment from spot to spot for a big project, workers can move freely around their work area and easily store their tools. We offer these types of platforms with electrical and pneumatic power interfacing for tools.
If you have a long-term project or ongoing maintenance needs, you may want to consider investing in a stationary work platform to give your employees a safe and efficient work environment.
- Adjustable work platforms
Adjustable work platforms are essentially a hybrid between stationary and portable supports. They can attach to stationary platforms as a modular unit, or they can detach to function as a mobile work platform. So if your work environment needs both stationary and mobile units, there are options available to combine the two.
HOW TO CHOOSE AN INDUSTRIAL WORK STAND
Now that you know the capabilities and the types of work platforms, how do you choose the right one for your application? Every operation is unique and requires its own solution. If you would like to speak to one of our qualified engineers, we can guide you through the process and offer suggestions for your operation. Here are a few steps that can help you choose the right work platforms:
Talk to Your Technicians
Often, the best place to start to determine your access needs is by talking to your employees. They intimately know what every operation takes, and they probably have an opinion on how to improve it with better support equipment — not to mention that everyone likes to know their input has value to their company.
Examine Your Work Area
Your work area may dictate the right work platform for your facility. Space and storage limitations may mean your support equipment needs to be compact and easily stored, or you may have room for a large, permanent work platform setup.
Think About Load Capacity
Determine the load capacity your equipment will need to comply with OSHA safe working requirements. How many workers typically need to be in the same area at once? How much equipment will they need with them? Once you answer these types of questions, you’ll be able to choose a platform with the structure and materials that suit your needs.
Consider Multiple Design Options
If you’re choosing a custom work platform, maximizing functionality in your design is imperative to let your technicians work effectively. Consider additional features you may want as well as those you don’t need. Does the design of your platform hinder any other operations? Is there another functional design that doesn’t take up as much space? With custom options, you have the freedom to choose exactly how your platform is set up.
Think About Where Your Stand Will Be
Will this platform be on uneven ground or a flat floor of a warehouse? There’s a platform best suited to every type of environment, and choosing the right one is imperative to maintaining a safe, stable platform. For mobile support, large wheels and levelling technology help keep working surfaces stable and level.
Look to the Future
Account for future projects in which you’ll need a work platform to give yourself enough time. If you foresee needing a large or more advanced maintenance platform with additional capabilities down the road, it may be smart to design it now, as the design, manufacturing and setup process can take some time. Planning allows for a smoother transition into using your new equipment.
Take Your Time
When designing and implementing new support equipment, don’t rush through the process. Take your time to understand the platform that your employees need and the limitations of each piece of support equipment. While your employees may be able to get by with less-than-ideal support equipment, it might not be the best solution. And to prevent falls and accidents, you don’t want your employees using equipment in ways other than its intended function.
The right solution depends entirely on you, and we’re here to help you figure out the best ground support solution for your operations.