Powered Access Guide Helps Users Assess Risk and Pick the Right Access Platform | Construction News

A group of access platform experts is now offering a new guide that tells powered access equipment users how to analyze workplace risks and pick the right aerial lift for a specific task.

The group unveiled the new guide, named Statement of Best Practices for Workplace Risk Assessment and Aerial Work Platform Equipment Selection, during The Rental Show in mid-February.

Four organizations worked together on the new guide: the American Rental Association (ARA), the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), and the Scaffold and Access Industry Association (SAIA). You can download it from their websites.

This respected group has also produced two other best-practice documents that give vital guidance for other facets of access platform safety: the Statement of Best Practices of General Training and Familiarization for Aerial Work Platform Equipment and the Statement of Best Practices of Personal Fall Protection Systems for Aerial Work Platform Equipment.


Concise but comprehensive
In just 36 pages, the new best-practice guide delivers an overall perspective of the topic, plus practical advice about assessing and controlling jobsite risks and about picking the right powered access equipment for a task.

The booklet first lays out its purpose, then works its way through definitions; the reasons that risk analysis is vital; ANSI’s and SAIA’s roles in establishing industry standards; OSHA’s regulations; the nuts and bolts of how to assess workplace risk; how to select the right access platform; and examples of risk-assessment considerations. It even includes a risk-assessment template to help readers with the process.

Although the guide is full of good detail, it’s an easy read, with lots of charts and bulleted lists that dish out information in easy-to-swallow bites. Of nine sections, only two run more than five pages. Most fit on one or two.

Although this document cannot take the place of proper training—and isn’t meant to—it makes you aware of the need for proper risk assessment and equipment selection. And it also gives good guidance about how to do both.

Kudos to the selfless experts who generously shared their knowledge and devoted lots of hours, thought, and effort in order to build a best-practice guide that can help access platform users work more safely.

About the Author: 

Mike Larson

Mike Larson has been writing about heavy equipment and construction for more than 25 years. He joined Heartland Communications Group in 2011 as editor of Lift and Access. During his career, he has edited Western Builder and Midwest Construction, and has been a regular contributor to Engineering News-Record and Constructor magazines. Larson also worked in and managed marketing communications for Manitowoc Cranes. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.