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Working safely with access platforms

Access platforms provide an easy, efficient and flexible way of working at height. However, as with all tasks that involve working at height, there are a number of safety concerns to address. Here we’ll provide our top tips on how to work safely with access platforms.


Carry out a risk assessment

Our first tip is to carry out a risk assessment on any jobs that involve working at height. If this isn’t something you can do yourself, then hire a health and safety expert who can. Knowing the risks can help you to find effective solutions and identify the type of access platform is best suited for the task in hand.


Check the ground condition

Before attempting to use an access platform, it is important to check the ground condition. Whilst many access platforms can be used on uneven grounds, it is important to check that the surface is capable of safely supporting the weight of the machinery, along with you and your load.


Inspect the documentation

When hiring an access platform, make sure you inspect the documentation that comes with it. This should include the instruction manual and a certificate of a thorough examination. You need to have the peace of mind that the piece of equipment has been maintained and inspected on a regular basis. If the hire company cannot provide you with this documentation, then take your business elsewhere - it’s not worth the risk!


Carry out safety checks

Even well maintained access platforms can experience faults from time to time, so you should always carry out safety checks before attempting to use one. If you find anything to be wrong with your machinery, then do not use it, as you could be putting your life and the lives of those around you, at risk. If you have done an IPAF training course (something we’ve explained in greater detail below), you should know how to carry out safety checks properly.


Consider the safety of others

When working with an access platform, you need to think carefully about the safety of others. At the very least you should put up warning signs that inform people that access platforms are being operated in the area. Using barriers to cordon off areas where access platforms are in use, can also help to reduce risks and improve the safety of others.



Do an IPAF training course

By law, you need to hold a Powered Access Licence in order to use an access platform. In order to get this licence, you will need to carry out an IPAF training course that will test both your practical skills using the equipment, along with your knowledge of how to use it safely. You will need to pass both the theory test and the practical test in order to get your Powered Access Licence.

The IPAF training course is something we offer here at Plantool. Depending on your experience, the course will take between one and three days at our depot in Daventry. Once you have successfully completed the course, you will be fully equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience required to operate an access platform safely.

Plantool provide IPAF and IOSH courses to help you gain the qualifications you need use machinery safely - Click here for more info



Access platforms are incredibly useful pieces of machinery but in the wrong hands, they can also pose serious health and safety risks. Make sure you follow the tips outlined in this article so you can work safely with access platforms. If you haven’t already, make sure you book yourself in to do the IPAF training course. You won’t be able to hire our access platforms without proof of your competence in operating them.

Contact Plantool for expert advice on freephone 0800 334 5365

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