Working at Height: The Whats and The Hows of Access Equipment
Access equipment is used in many different industries, still, they’re most commonly utilized in construction where falls from height is one of the major causes for fatal accidents occurring in the workplace. There are many different tools that fall under the category of access equipment including step stools and safety ladders, work platforms, crane cages as well as different types of container and yard ramps. Simply put, access equipment keeps workers secure and safe when working at height, as it enables them to access easily an item or areas that wouldn’t be possible to reach with standard equipment.
Below, I’ll provide a list of different types of access equipment and further detail the usage and benefits of each one of them. Keep reading this article to find out which are some of the most widely utilized pieces of access equipment and what they are used for.
Different Types of Access Equipment
Step Stools and Ladders
Some of the most commonly utilized pieces of access equipment are different types of step stools and safety ladders. Most of them come with additional features such as handrails and platforms that provide additional stability and balance when working on-site or at home.
There are different kinds of industrial ladders including step ladders, platform ladders, extension ladders, etc. Most industrial ladder safety platforms are made from fibreglass, stainless steel, and aluminium which aren’t only durable but also cost-effective materials and meet all the safety regulations set by OSHA.
For instance, the aluminium platform ladders feature a large anti-skid surface with raised edges that can make a lot of things easier within your workplace, keeping your feet inside the platform for greater safety and comfort. On the other hand, extension ladders cannot support themselves but they can be extended to become longer to reach higher places. They’re most commonly used in homes for doing some repair work or carrying out regular jobs such as painting your walls.
In comparison to the above-mentioned types, step ladders are self-supporting portable types of ladders that are intended to be used only by one person. Unlike the extension ladder, they don’t feature a mechanism for extension and have a fixed length that ranges in size from 1 meter to 6. Most of these ladders are made to meet the industrial ladder safety standard and secure a safe working environment.
Step stools have quite a different design than step ladders. A step stool is a small, self-supporting portable ladder that can be easily folded for easy storage. They’re commonly used as a support platform for reaching heights between 2 to 3 meters when a full-sized ladder isn’t required. They can be used in offices, libraries, warehouses, retail, and hospitality.
Work Platforms and Crane Cages
Work platforms and crane cages are other commonly used pieces of access equipment that are specially designed to carry people, not goods. Cranes are used in construction and mining sites to move personnel, equipment, and materials from one point to the other, vertically. These platforms are made in the form of cages featuring surrounding metal frames used for the transport of sensitive materials such as explosives, valuable commodities, and bulky fuel. Considering the fragility and sensitive nature of the things that are being transported the handling of the same should be done with the utmost caution, safety, and care.
There are different types of crane platform cages and baskets that have different capabilities and uses. As mentioned above, there are cages used to transport goods while there are other cages used to transport personnel. This factor is mostly dependent on the load capacity, the number of people who can fit in a single cage compartment, and even the safety rating on the subject equipment.
The personnel operating this equipment should always ensure that the load capacity attached to a certain cage or basket is not exceeded to ensure that the crane platform cage works as required. Those who are afraid of heights should not worry when using these pieces of equipment, as they are very capable and safe to use.
Containers and Yard Ramps
Most types of containers and yard ramps are used throughout many business operations, for unloading or loading materials directly on the premises. Most platform containers are generally used for moving machinery, oil and gas equipment, and other heavy-weight equipment. Container ramps are the ideal option, as they’re able to serve as a bridge for standard containers from ground level.
Yard ramps, also known by the name loading ramps, are manually operated hydraulic controlled units that allow trucks to be loaded and unloaded when there is no loading dock available. They can be raised at different levels to accommodate different truck heights. These ramps offer a quick and easy way to load and unload containers and trucks. Without a permanent docking facility, these mobile yard ramps are the perfect solution for convenient and efficient loading and unloading of goods.