Incidents while working at heights are a major cause of workplace injuries, with much of the blame attributed to a lack of access equipment safety technology and operator training.
The need for improved compliance and operator safety has been duly noted by equipment manufacturers and hire services, and partnerships between major industry players are delivering encouraging results.
At present one of their main focuses has been improving scissor lift safety.
Current scissor lift operator safety protection trials are underway, with many findings also applicable to boom lifts, knuckle lifts and other specialist equipment used for working at heights. Comprehensive trials have explored a range of operator safety solutions.
Access equipment operators are invited to explore improved systems. Innovations include:
- Shield bars
- Contact alarms
- Detection systems
- Height restrictors
- Overhead warning systems
The determined safety-first approach has garnered wide support from high-profile construction companies, developers, and services industries.
Third-party manufacturers of safety systems and technologies are also onboard, with improvements to the boom fleet of progressive hire services already resulting in 100% compliance with operator protection standards.
Safe access equipment operation starts with choosing the right equipment for the particular task, along with a focus on operator safety equipment features that eliminate risks. Operator safety system trials provide better understanding in a range of areas.
- The effectiveness of new technologies to reduce operator safety risks;
- The practicality of safety systems and their impact on productivity;
- The viability and cost involved in retrofitting operator safety technology;
- The acceptance and uptake of new technologies by access equipment users.
Profitability at the expense of safety is a thing of the past. Workplace health and safety is a big deal in Australia, prompting governments and private industry to improve systems.
The time is right for the entire industry to reach new levels of safety.
Progressive and innovative access equipment is more than just compliant — it is part of a cultural paradigm shift that promotes best possible outcomes for the health and safety of all Australian workers.
Coates Hire is Australia’s largest equipment hire company, with a nation-wide network of hire branches and more available products than any other hire provider.