Some people may wonder whether they should buy ladders or invest in elevating work platforms, such as aerial lifts, for their workers. This article discusses some reasons why elevating work platforms may be a better option when compared to ladders.
Greater Weight Bearing Capacity
Many ladders are designed to be used during simple tasks, such as replacing a blown light bulb. Such ladders may have a weight-bearing capacity that is limited to the weight of the worker. It may therefore be risky for that worker to climb onto such ladders when he or she is carrying a load, such as a bucket of concrete mix. The ladders can easily break under the combined weight of the worker and the materials that he or she is carrying. Elevating work platforms allow workers to carry the heavy materials that they need to conduct their work, such as a compressor supplying air to a pneumatic tool.
Time is Saved
Elevating work platforms also help workers to be more productive by reducing the time that the workers spend when moving ladders from one workstation to another. For instance, a worker who is cleaning a wall may have to climb down and move the ladders to another section of the wall. That worker then has to secure the ladders before climbing up to work. This is repeated until the entire wall is clean. The time wasted as the ladders are moved can be saved by using an elevating work platform. This equipment may be powered so the worker just presses the controls in order to be able to reach another work site.
Less Worker Fatigue
Ladders strain the workers because the workers have to juggle safety and productivity. For instance, a worker has to be conscious about how his or her weight is distributed on the ladders so that the ladders do not tip over. He or she must also be aware of how far he or she is reaching during the performance of work. Overreaching can also cause the ladders to become unbalanced. This juggling of tasks can cause the workers to be tired to the extent that they will be more likely to make errors, such as climbing to the top rung of the ladders, which can result in an accident.
Elevating work platforms allow the employee to focus on doing his or her work. This is because the platform has an enclosure that serves as a protective ring around the worker.
Talk to a work safety professional so that he or she advises you about the best elevating work platform for your needs.