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A new platform
The HSE’s latest published figures, for the working area. Power is normally
2007/8, show that 58 people were killed supplied by a petrol or diesel engine
through falls from height and 3623 people but some models, such as the CTE
suffered serious injuries. Although the Traccess models, also offer an
organisation recommends avoiding working auxiliary electric option so they can
at height whenever possible this is rarely be used conveniently indoors.
practical in cleaning. The challenge is to find a
There are some important differences
way of doing it safely and efficiently. Choosing
between designs that could be
the most appropriate equipment, providing
significant for cleaners. On the best
staff with proper training and adopting a work
vehicle mounted units, for example,
culture of care and vigilance should be
the turret and boom will rotate
uppermost in everyone’s thoughts.
through 360o for all-round access.
Using a ladder is still popular. They afford quick, Another important consideration is
easy and flexible access to heights up to first the boom. Many platforms,
floor level. But they are also involved with especially on larger vehicles, have
around one third of the HSE’s reported fall from depending on the chassis and length of boom booms that extend in a straight line until they
height accidents. For access at slightly higher these can provide access up to 100 metres reach their maximum length. A more flexible
levels or when the work will take more than a few working height. approach is to provide a folding boom with a
minutes a portable platform is often suitable.
Platforms with maximum working heights up
Z or (sigma) configuration as this allows the
On larger buildings where long term cleaning to 21 metres, such as the CTE ZED21J, are
basket to be positioned at any point within the
or renovation is required the preferred option often fitted onto commercial vehicles such as
platform’s maximum working height.
used to be scaffolding. Many companies the Nissan Cabstar to produce combinations The design of the basket is also critical. It
continue with this practice but the labour and that weigh under 3.5 tonnes. This is important should also afford easy access to the workface
time involved often make the financial because these can be driven on an ordinary so long as the very stringent rules about safety
justification more difficult. car licence. guard rails, perimeter toe rails and platform
So what can you use? The larger booms required for access over 21
non-slip surfaces are maintained. The
Many cleaning companies now use mobile metres means the vehicles to which they are
maximum working load should support the
access platforms. These afford ready access to fitted may exceed the 3.5t limit and can only
worker and their equipment.
the workface and have a number of advantages be driven by those who passed their test before So next time you need to find your way to
over traditional products. In particular, they are 1997 or have a Category C or higher licence. the top, try a new platform.
simple to use and can be brought into position
The other type of commonly available access
whenever required for unobstructed access to the
platform is the compact tracked unit which
workface. Used properly they are more efficient
enables working up to maximum heights of
and safer than ladders, towers or scaffold.
around 50 metres. These are ideal for working
There are broadly two types of mobile access in areas that have uneven ground underfoot
platform used by the cleaning industry. The or where conventional vehicle mounted
first is the vehicle mounted platform and platforms cannot be driven to gain access to
The future of our cleaning industry | TOMORROW’S CLEANING |
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