5 Key features when choosing a platform
Over the years I have had many clients ask me “what do I look for in a platform?” or “how do I know I’m making the right decision” and my answer has always been “if you’re looking for a Platform the best method is simple L.E.M.M.A”.
Now this may seem a bit daunting, not having the right knowledge to make such an important decision for your employees or colleagues to depend on whilst operating at heights. Which is why I wrote this blog … Let me break it down for you…
A platform is defined as an object that is raised at a height above the surface in which people can stand. When deciding on how to choose the right platform we at STAR believe in the LEMMA approach.
- Load Rating: A platform’s load rating is an important feature as it is the key component on how much weight the unit can tolerate. When choosing a platform, you need to think of what the unit will be used for and how that will be achieved. For example; will it be used by one person and tools or two persons plus individual tools. A heavy SWL (Safe Working Load) means a more heavy duty platform that has been designed & manufactured to withstand high impact durability.
- Engineering Certification: A platform with the approval & registered certification of an Engineer means a fully compliant report in accordance to the Australian standards and/or Worksafe regulations. A certified engineers stamp of approval is always paramount when utilising the solution in height needs. This should be an important factor when choosing the right platform as this stamp of approval will keep safety auditors happy and a happy safety auditor makes for a productive work environment.
- Manufacturing Warranty: Any reputable manufacturing company with assurance in their product will offer a minimum 3 years manufacturing warranty. This shows that the manufacturer backs their product 100%, proving the quality of their product. If the platform you are looking to choose doesn’t have any warranty provided by those who make it then ask yourself “what am I paying for?”, because if something goes wrong who will be there to support you…
- Material Temper: Another feature in making a decision is the alloy temper. What does alloy temper mean? This refers to the extrusion type of the aluminium. Any alloy temper beginning with a 6 reflects the most heat resistant factor. The temper being rated at T6 – meaning the most heat resistant temper. Structural integrity with a height access solution is of utmost importance as operators’ lives are at risk – why purchase a platform that has been constructed out of thin and low intensity temper to save a few dollars?
- Australian Standards: One of the biggest key features for any product manufactured in Australia is the compliance of every factor to the AS/NZ standards. Platforms fall under 3 AS/NZ Standards and they are as follows:
- 1170.0-2002 Structural design actions
- 1657-2018 Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders – Design, construction & installation
- 1892.1:1996 Portable ladders
Each of these standards should be noted on the manufacturer’s paperwork. If all three are not reflected, ask yourself why? As each standard works in unison so to have one achieved and not the others mean that the unit may be contradicting itself in another standard.
So, the next time you are looking at purchasing a platform, ask yourself does it have the 5 key features. If the answer is no, then you too should be saying no.
For any questions or to discuss any products please feel free to contact us on 1300 305 200 today!