Aerial platform inspection essential for personal safety

Why is a correct inspection of aerial platforms essential for your safety and business operations? Since our foundation in 1996, we have been inspecting different types of aerial work platforms and still we often see doubts among users about the usefulness and necessity of a well-conducted, authorized inspection. That is why we are happy to explain to our customers in this blog why a good inspection is not only essential for personal safety, but also for your business operations. In this article we will therefore look in more detail at the importance of the periodic inspection for the personal safety of employees on the aerial platform and what the major consequences can be of an incorrectly performed inspection.

What does the inspection of your aerial platform entail?

An inspection of your aerial platform is basically a visual inspection of all parts of your aerial platform. Wear is an indication that a part of the aerial platform needs maintenance or repair immediately or in the near future, in order to continue to use the aerial platform safely.

In addition to the visual inspection of the machine, a number of documents are also studied, namely:

  • The CE declaration of conformity
  • The flight diagram
  • The machine manual

The CE declaration of conformity is a statement that the aerial platform has been built in accordance with the European Machinery Directive and according to the standards that apply to an aerial platform. The flight diagram must be stamped and signed by the manufacturer or the responsible party. By responsible party we mean the person or organization that is responsible for the flight diagram delivered with this machine. Besided to the manufacturer, this can be for example an importer, dealer or converter. The manual must be up to date, so when adjustments (modifications) have been made to the machine, these must also be implemented in the manual.

Personal safety is central to the aerial work platform inspection

Personal safety and the prevention of dangerous situations is the main goal of a periodic inspection of your aerial platform. Working at height involves risks and responsibilities. The consequences of an accident with an aerial platform are incalculable, of course personal suffering for those involved is paramount. But psychological and financial consequences for employers can also be far-reaching.

The employer’s responsibility is to provide proper and safe work equipment. An aerial platform is also a work tool. The periodic inspection gives the employer a certain degree of certainty that the work equipment meets the safety requirements. Of course, this never fully excludes all risks, but it does reduce them to a minimum. With a properly performed inspection, wear and tear is identified in time and remedied with repair or maintenance.

According to current legislation, an aerial platform must be inspected at least once a year in order to remain in use. With continuous operation or work in harsh conditions, the materials and components of the aerial platform wear faster. That is why we advise to inspect aerial platforms that are in constant operation and, or are used in harsh conditions, two, three or even four times a year.

Investment in inspection in relation to the safety risk of aerial platform

We often see that people dread the costs of an inspection and even the costs of any repairs or maintenance. This while the investment of an approved and well-maintained machine is disproportionate to the safety risk of an aerial platform, which increases considerably in the event of poor maintenance or a defective inspection.

We take a telescopic boom lift as an example from practice. The telescopic boom lift consists of one or more mast parts that can extend. The mast parts can be pushed in and out by means of a chain. A few months before the inspection date there appears to be a kink in the chain, whereupon we advise to have the kink repaired and indicate that the aerial platform does not pass the inspection in this condition. The owner of the aerial platform is afraid of the costs of repair and decides to postpone it.

Three months later the machine comes for the annual inspection and the kink is still present. As a result, the telescopic boom lift does not pass the inspection and must be repaired. When disassembling the chain, it was indeed found that the links were deformed. It also turned out that several pins of the chain were worn out. That is the beginning of very serious problems, namely the failure of the chain. If one chain breaks while the other is weakened, you have no backup. The mast can collapse with all the consequences that entails.

We replaced part of the chain, after which the telescopic boom lift could be used safely again and was inspected for another year. All in all, the inspection and repair of this aerial platform cost 1500 euros, a relatively small investment compared to the major risks of a faulty mechanism.

Do you have questions about the inspection of your aerial platform? Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your questions and the options with you.