Top Safety Tips For Using Access Equipment

Sometimes you may look at a house paint job or the fitting of curtains in your home and think – “I could do that.” What’s more, it is no secret that as a generation we are becoming more money conscious, scrimping and saving where we can. With Aldi launching a DIY home improvement section in their special buy aisles at the beginning of August, this clearly points to the rise of DIY home improvement projects amongst millennial and baby boomer generations. This is substantiated by Forbes who estimated that generally, the DIY market has been on the rise in the US due to a variety of factors. These include:

  • Easier access to online tutorials on smartphones and tablets
  • The rise of the rental house market – people want to make or purchase portable items they can take from place to place
  • Rise of house prices generally – homeowners are staying put and remodelling rather than moving to somewhere new

If you find that these statistics and facts are applicable to you, or you are thinking of undertaking a DIY approach rather than consulting a professional company, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment. Plus, when you do source the right access equipment, you must ensure that you are using it safely. According to research published in Real Homes, DIY related incidents are costing the NHS around £222 million a year, as one in six people who undertake a DIY task end up injuring themselves. It is no secret that the NHS is under strain, so make sure to follow these safety tips below.

What is access equipment? And do you need it?

Rental access equipment can be suitable for both industrial construction sites and basic home projects, allowing you to reach and access every nook and cranny of your home. If you undertake the DIY home improvement approach, however, it is unlikely that a large scale company will rent out some of their more technical and complex machines if you don’t have the right health and safety training. Below is a comprehensive list of different access equipment:

  • Access towers and platforms
  • Electric and Bi-energy boom lifts
  • Electric Scissor lifts
  • Ladders and steps
  • Low-level access
  • Trestles, staging and steps
  • Verticle masts
  • Work platforms
  • Cherry pickers

How to stay safe according to a construction equipment rental company

In order to make sure that you stay safe whilst using the access equipment, make sure to follow our recommended instructions below. After all, a fall or slip could result in a serious life-threatening accident, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution whenever using any equipment that feels foreign to you.

Conduct inspections before use

Before you use any equipment, you need to make sure that you conduct in-depth inspections. This could include assessing if there is any visible marks, scrapes or breakages that could impact the safety of the person using the equipment. According to the Health and Safety Executive, under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, it is a requirement of the manufacturer to ensure that the construction and design of the equipment is safe and presents no risk to health, but this must also be mandated by the authorised representative and equipment users.

If you do find that there is a breakage, or the equipment is unsafe to use, make sure to stop using the equipment immediately as this could cause accidents to occur. Then, contact the manufacturer and the supplier, and make a note of any parts missing or breakages as you could be liable to pay for the damage if you have caused it.

Train staff to health and safety standards

If you are hiring construction equipment and access equipment for an industrial construction site, or you have hired contractors to carry out the work alongside you, you need to make sure that you see that they are well-trained in using the equipment. According to the Health and Safety Executive, it is your responsibility to not endanger any hired contractors lives (but, of course, look into seeing if they are insured first). What’s more, keep a fully stocked first aid kit on hand at all times to treat any minor injuries.

In order to create health and safety standards, you can create your own health and safety policy, this should include the following:

Part One – Statement of Intent

This would include your general policy and commitment of keeping anyone who hire or who works alongside you safe and sound.

Part Two – Responsibilities of Health and Safety

If you are owning a small business, or you have hired a range of contractors who will have different responsibilities in health and safety then list these below.

Part Three – Arrangements for Health and Safety

Give further details of the practical arrangements that you have put in place in order for people to follow through with health and safety checks. This could include risk assessments, training employees and signage.

Check weather conditions

Of course, even though you will feel pressure to complete a project come rain or shine, you need to prioritise the safety of you and your staff. If the weather is turbulent – like snow, ice, torrential rain, storms or high winds – it may be potentially dangerous to work at height. After all, these could make the access equipment slippery and unstable, causing potential injuries like falls. What’s more, it may also be potentially dangerous if you are working outside in the scorching sun, especially if you don’t have sun cream on.

Read the Instruction Manual

If you have any doubts when operating or using the access equipment, the best way to overcome these is by consulting the instruction manual that should be provided with the equipment. The instruction manual would have been mandated by the manufacturer and comply with legal standards – so you can be assured to find the right answer you need.

Wear personal protective equipment

Whenever operating from a height or using construction equipment, it is important to wear personal protective equipment and clothing so you can be protected from falls or from objects hitting your head. Personal protective equipment, or PPE for short, includes:

  • Eyewear
  • Helmet
  • Earplugs
  • High-Visibility clothing
  • Safety gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Protective boots

When using construction tools and paints, it is likely that you may be exposed to chemicals that can irritate your lungs, eyes and skin. This is why the above is important as it keeps your skin covered and protects you from inhaling these chemicals, which are linked to respiratory problems.

High visibility clothing is also important as it allows you or your workers to be easily seen when working onsite. Simply throwing on a high visibility jacket during work will help prevent any accidents from occurring.

Buckland Newton Hire: Machine Hire and Plant Hire in Somerset

If you are searching for plant hire companies, then our services at Buckland Newton Hire are ideal for your needs. We have a range of equipment and machinery that you can hire and use for your construction, from earth moving equipment to access equipment. Yet, we can offer more. We pride ourselves on being a multi-faceted plant hire company offering waste disposal, groundworks, aggregates and skip hire, being a one-stop-shop for all of your construction needs.

If you have any questions about our services, or you want to generally find out more about us, simply contact us today.

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