Over the years, aerial work platforms have become indispensable tools for operators. And with good reason: they can be used to reach considerable working heights, which are necessary to complete a large number of projects. However, using an aerial platform can present risks and lead to accidents, particularly if the maximum load capacity of the equipment is not respected.
What is the maximum load?
To ensure that your aerial work platform is used safely and optimally, the manufacturer has defined a load limit, also known as the maximum load capacity (MLC). Before boarding the aerial work platform, operators must add up : the weight of the operator + the weight of the tools and materials in the basket to ensure that the load limit is not exceeded.
The load limit is not set in stone. It varies according to the model of aerial platform used, the type of carrier (van, chassis, HGV, pick-up, etc.) and the basket capacity (number of operators authorised to board), for example. However, it is important to remember that if the maximum load capacity is exceeded, even by just a few kilograms, the consequences can be disastrous.
What are the risks of exceeding the maximum load?
If the maximum load that the aerial work platform can support is exceeded, operators expose themselves (and anyone else in the vicinity) to the following risks:
- A fall from the basket, undoubtedly the most common risk. If the basket is overloaded, it may become unbalanced and tip over, causing it to fall.
- Crushing the operator. If the platform tips over, even slightly, the operator could be crushed against the façade of a building, for example.
- Road accident or crushing of a pedestrian. If the aerial platform falls onto the road or pavement, it could endanger the lives of nearby motorists and pedestrians.
In addition, it is essential and strongly recommended that you follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding the load limits of the aerial platforms. These are not there to restrict your work, but to optimise it, in complete safety.
Did you know that?
Afnor standard NF EN 280-1 governs the compliance of aerial work platforms in terms of stability, strength and safety. Every day, this standard helps prevent many accidents in the workplace.
AERIAL PLATFORMS WITH AND WITHOUT OUTRIGGERS: WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
Wherever possible, aerial work platforms are mounted on carriers without outriggers. This equipment increases the weight of the vehicle and, despite popular belief, does not increase the working height. In addition, although the outriggers can be installed quickly, using a vehicle without outriggers saves about 5 minutes per operation, compared to a vehicle with outriggers. Particularly suitable for repetitive tasks, such as installing Christmas lights or maintaining street lighting, these platforms allow operators to save time, increase productivity and improve comfort.
UNEVEN TERRAIN AND AERIAL WORK PLATFORMS: WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN?
Aerial work platforms provide better access to difficult-to-reach areas, and have revolutionised working conditions in many industries. However, the use of aerial platforms is not without risk, especially when they are operated on unstable terrain such as muddy or uneven ground. Indeed, each environment presents different challenges that every operator needs to identify and understand, in order to take specific precautions. As a reminder, the absence or lack of preparation can damage the platform and lead to serious or fatal injuries.
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