The global increase in the use of man lift or hydraulic Aerial Work Platforms ( AWP ) has been quite dramatic in recent years. To ensure the added safety afforded by this market development, a few basic rules should be observed by operators in all work places.
This note attempts to answer the question: how do we prevent unnecessary injury?
Firstly, it is important to choose recognized brand name products from quality guaranteed, internationally renowned companies such as the Australian-owned Up-Lift and Quick Lift branded products. Reputable companies brands like Up-Lift and Quick Lift, not only incorporate new ideas in their equipment on a regular basis, but also provide life time support to their customers. Operator training is an integral part of this support.
Secondly, operators of Aerial Work Platforms ( AWP ) must understand the capabilities and limitations of the product they are using and follow proper procedures of usage at all times.
Thirdly, routine checks and regular maintenance as outlined in the operating manual should occur. These measures will reduce the risk of unnecessary injury and extend the life of the equipment.
A daily routine to ensure service ability before use is strongly recommended.
What are the equipment parts that need to be checked and maintained? How should these checks and maintenance be undertaken? These are two questions raised by many users.
The following is a summary designed to primarily address these issues.
- Maintenance of hydraulic and electric systems
a) Adjust the pressure of the hydraulic system to maximum allowed
b) Replace hydraulic oil regularly (typically every 6 months)
c) Check the electric system regularly for standard functions (for instance, emergency descent on back-up battery power)
- Structural adjustment and maintenance
a) Cable wire support on the sliding rails should be tight. Loose or damage wires following prolonged or heavy use should be adjusted or replaced as required.
b) Check the supporting brackets guiding the cable wire and tighten any that have become loose.
- Maintenance and adjustment of chains and sprockets
a) Check chains for any signs of wear or twist, replace chains that are worn or damage
b) Replace chains that appear worn or damaged
c) Check chain sprockets for signs of damage or wear
d) Replace sprockets where required
- Maintenance and service of masts
a) Check the mast for signs of damage or excessive wear
b) Clean the mast of dust, grime or other foreign substances which would affect surface movements during lifting operations
c) Check the bearing blocks between sections of the mast for any signs of damage. Ensure that they remain firmly attached in their respective positions
- Maintenance of outriggers and level gauge
a) Check that all outriggers are in good condition) Check the threads on the outriggers for signs of damage or wear (the turning action should be smooth and easy with one hand operation)
b) Check the spirit level for accuracy and responsiveness