How to Handle Loads When Using an Elevating Work Platform
Trainees who would like to qualify for an elevating work platform (ewp) licence are usually taught how to handle loads in the course of their work as operators. This article discusses some of the key aspects of load handling that may be taught before one obtains an elevating work platform licence.
Checking the Loads
Trainees are taught about the importance of never exceeding the weight rating of an elevating work platform, such as a boom lift. They learn how to check the distribution of the loads on the platform so that the stability of that platform isn't compromised. The trainees are also advised to avoid carrying loads whose dimensions exceed the confines of the platform. This is because such loads can limit the view of the operator.
Trainers also stress how important it is to ensure that loads don't touch the handrails of the elevating work platform. This is because the loads will block any workers on the platform from using the handrails to support themselves. Secondly, the loads may weaken the handrails to such an extent that they will no longer be able to prevent the workers from falling off the platform.
The Use of Lifting Equipment
Trainees are also taught how they can judge when it is necessary to bring in lifting equipment to remove loads from the elevating work platform so that safety risks are avoided. For instance, the trainees may be told to avoid situations that require several workers to lift a piece of equipment from the platform. This is because the platform may become so crowded that it may no longer be safe for the employees involved. The use of lifting equipment to carry such a heavy load can therefore avert the dangers that the workers would have been exposed to if they crowded onto the ewp.
The magnitude and direction of any strong winds can have an effect on the loads that can be carried by an elevating work platform. This is because it may be harder to keep the platform stable if a heavy load is carried during a strong wind. Trainees are therefore taught how to reduce the permissible loads in order to accommodate the prevailing wind conditions at a jobsite.
The ewp licence training programme doesn't only cover load handling. It explores other aspects, such as the different inspections that should be performed by the operators. It is therefore advisable for you to enroll at an accredited training facility so that you receive comprehensive training regarding every aspect of being an operator of an elevating work platform. You will then decrease the chance of being involved in an accident once you start working.