What is Low Level Access?
A wide range of options is available for working at heights of up to 5 meters. From ladders to mobile scaffolding towers, up to self-propelled compact aerial work platforms.
Working with ladders
By law using a ladder to work from is not permitted if a safer alternative is available (such as scaffolding or an aerial work platform).
Only when this is not possible (for example due to lack of space) may a ladder be used. Even then there are rules to stick to:
When can an aerial work platform be used?
Maybe you have already had experience using an aerial work platform, which is a comfortable alternative to ladders and scaffolding. It is now often standard procedure to use an aerial work platform when working at greater heights, but did you know that there are now compact aerial work platforms for working at low level heights? They often weigh no more than 1,100 lb. and are able to fit through a standard door as well as in a passenger lift. Examine the following advantages for yourself:
• Never again have to balance precariously on a step ladder, enjoy working from a comfortable position!
• No need to assemble mobile scaffolding or transport loose parts, ready for use!
• No danger of falling, always have a safe workplace!
• Never again have to go up and down steps to reach your workplace
• Have enough room for your tools to get the job done
• Set your work height to the inch, no more standing on your toes or bending your knees
• Have more energy left at the end of the day to do the things you enjoy!
Opt for a push-around model or one that can be moved around as you work at height, depending on the job at hand
When to use a push-around aerial work platform.
It is easy to acknowledge the advantages of self-propelling aerial work platforms, but there are many situations where a push around model is just right for the job. This depends largely on the task at hand (right tool for the right job). A push around aerial work platform is ideal to use when:
• A job demands that you spend a longer time in one place
• The work space is small, moving by hand = less chance of causing damage
• There is a greater distance between work locations
• You need to repeatedly go through a doorway or in a lift
• You regularly need to descend to pick up new materials (such as plasterboard)
Due to safety regulations self-propelling aerial work platforms have a maximum speed limit of 0.8km per hour. As a person can walk at a speed of 5km per hour it is not necessarily faster to use a self-propelling aerial work platform when working at heights of up to 5m. It is generally true that: “if there is no clear benefit to using a self-propelled aerial work platform, it is probably best not to.” As far as usability and maintenance are concerned, push-around aerial work platforms are also often a smart choice.
When to use a self-propelled aerial work platform
Although it may be fun to use a self-propelled aerial work platform they are also more expensive and there are more often risks attached. Our advice is to first consider whether a push-around model is suitable to your requirements. Situations in which it may be advantageous to use a self-propelling model are when you:
• Regularly need to move around whilst working at height (such as when pulling through wiring)
• Have plenty of room (for example at the start of the finishing fase)
• Need to position the height of the work space extremely accurately
• Need to regularly adjust the height diagonally (for example whilst painting)