Approving aerial platforms requires expertise

What does approving an aerial work platform mean? Aerial platforms are machines with specific characteristics that make them suitable for special work at height, sometimes on difficult terrain. The specific characteristics of aerial work platforms require expertise for a thorough inspection. In this blog, we will therefore take a closer look at the periodic inspection of aerial work platforms and why execution by a specialist is essential for the safe use of aerial work platforms.

Periodic inspection of aerial platforms

The inspection of an aerial platform basically consists of a visual inspection of the machine and the accompanying papers. We measure the wear and tear to determine when the aerial platform needs maintenance or repair, in order to be able to use the aerial platform safely.

The aerial work platform’s papers include:

  • The CE declaration of conformity
  • The flight diagram, certified with a stamp and signature of the manufacturer or responsible person
  • The manual of the machine, up to date with the latest adjustments

We also look at the aerial work platform book, where all technical data, the inspections and the latest inspection reports are registered.

Extra attention to wear parts during the inspection of aerial work platforms

During an inspection, all parts are checked, but some parts require extra attention:

  • The scissors package of lifting mechanism
  • The cylinders
  • The leveling frame

These are the most important parts during an inspection because they are essential for safety on the aerial platform and because these moving parts are more sensitive to wear.

In addition to the visual inspection of the machine, we believe that a good inspection body is also aware of internal aspects of the machine on the basis of knowledge and experience. When we inspect a machine, we will therefore also investigate certain internal wear on the basis of experience with similar machines, machine history and usage data by dismantling parts of the machine. This allows us to detect internal wear in time and prevent any dangerous situations with maintenance. A company that is not specialized in a certain segment of aerial work platforms lacks the right knowledge.

Inspection by recognized inspection body or manufacturer

We recommend that every owner and/or user of aerial work platforms has the machine inspected by a recognized inspection body or the manufacturer of the machine. As far as we’re concerned, “approval” or “approval” makes a world of difference in both the safety and deployability of aerial work platforms, because aerial work platforms have very specific properties.

The manufacturer of the aerial platform is fully aware of all the ins-and-outs of the machine and can therefore take all the characteristics of the machine into account during the inspection. Recognized inspection bodies also have the necessary knowledge and experience to take these specific characteristics into account during the inspection. If the inspection is not carried out by the manufacturer or a recognized inspection body, the risk of an unsafe inspection cycle and unsafe situation increases.

Protocols leading in construction and maintenance of aerial platforms

When inspecting, maintaining and repairing aerial platforms, following protocols is essential for safety. This means that the flight diagram, the CE declaration, stability calculation, risk analysis and manual must be drawn up in accordance with the construction and machine guidelines (EN 280). Does the inspection or during maintenance show that maintenance or maybe even replacement of a part is required? Then the protocols are leading and all documents must be adjusted correctly.

We regularly see aerial work platforms that have been inspected by agricultural mechanization companies, for example. But these companies are specialized in other machines, so they usually do not have the right knowledge about aerial work platforms in-house. In practice this can mean that the machine is wrongly approved and that any work on the machine is not carried out in accordance with the safety requirements. The state of maintenance may therefore be sufficient on paper, but not in practice. A subsequent inspection is based on previous inspection reports and this can lead to a cycle of unsafety and inferior quality.

Therefore, always have your aerial platform inspected and maintained by the manufacturer, dealer, specialist maintenance partner or a certified inspection company. This way you can be sure of a well-approved aerial work platform.

Would you like more information about the inspection of aerial platforms? Contact us and we will answer your personal questions.