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What are the risks associated with overloading an aerial platform?

What are the risks associated with overloading an aerial platform?

As lifting devices that allow your operators to work at relatively high heights, the risks associated with using elevating platforms are very real. One of the most common causes of accidents when using a platform is overloading it.

To further analyze and prevent potential accidents that could happen to your operators, let's discuss the risks associated with overloading a lift platform.

Staying in Compliance

As a reminder, the AFNOR NF EN 280-1 standard regulates the compliance of elevating platforms in terms of stability, strength, and safety. Without this strict regulation, there would undoubtedly be accidents every day.

In addition to this strict regulation, manufacturers such as Klubb France include usage instructions for their elevating platforms to prevent any risk of accidents, whether minor or serious.

Despite this, it can happen that operators are injured during their work at height due to negligence, often, or incompetence, more rarely.

As we mentioned, one of the main causes of these accidents is overloading the platform.

Type of aerial platform and weight of the load

As you know, for its use to be as safe as possible, an elevating platform has a load limit, which is also known as the maximum load capacity. This maximum load capacity is calculated using the following formula:

MCC = weight of the operator + weight of the equipment in the platform + weight of equipment in the basket

The maximum load capacity is not a strict data and depends largely on the type of elevating platform that you or your operators will use. The fact that the platform basket can accommodate 1 or 2 operators will also change the maximum load capacity supported. Thus a van platform, a truck with platform, and a spider platform will not have the same MCC.

This maximum load capacity, if exceeded, even by a few kilos, can have serious consequences on a construction site.

Risks Associated with Exceeding the Platform Load Capacity

Here are the risks associated with overloading an elevating platform:

  • Platform collapse: this is the most common risk. Overloading the lifting device will create an imbalance and cause it to tip over until it falls.
  • Operator crushing: Even a slight tipping of the elevating platform can result in the operator being crushed against a building wall.
  • Road accident: If the platform falls on the road, other road users can be seriously injured by it.
  • Pedestrian crushing: If the platform falls on a sidewalk, pedestrians can be crushed.

If there was only one thing to remember from this article, it would be to always respect the recommended load limits in elevating platforms as recommended by the manufacturer. These maximum load capacities are not there to limit you in your daily life but rather to optimize it.