With such a wide variety of access platforms to choose from, installing racking involves high-risk working at height activity that will require carefully considered machinery.
When selecting a MEWP you will need to consider; the rate capacity, maximum height, power source, site regulations and width. When you acquire the appropriate MEWP the risk of overloading and falling can be significantly reduced. This will also ensure your access platforms run smoothly and efficiently, enabling you to complete your projects on time.
In this blog post, Horizon Platforms have put together five top tips to ensure you select the most appropriate machinery for your warehouse racking installations.
Discuss Warehouse and Site Regulations As Soon As Possible
You may find that many warehouses and sites have different regulations you need to adhere to when completing a racking installation. When working on access lifting platforms, many warehouses mandate non-marking MEWP tyres, as well as insisting all operators have the appropriate training and certifications.
Although not a legal requirement within the UK, many sites expect individuals to have IPAF operator training to operate all MEWPs. Once you have passed the appropriate training courses you will receive certification as evidence. PAL cards, sometimes known as IPAF cards, can be shown to any health and safety officers and supervisors on your job sites.
Along with achieving the correct certifications, many require you to have non-marking tyres. Therefore you will need to ensure your scissor lifts have either wheel covers or non-marking tyres. Usually, the safer and preferred preference is non-marking tyres as these will prevent any impact or marks from being left on the floor surface.
Therefore, it’s highly important to discuss the warehouse and site requirements as soon as possible. This enables you to be fully prepared before commencing your work, enabling an efficient installation.
Work Out the Maximum Width and Height
MEWP width is key! It’s strongly recommended that you consider the width between your racking rows and installations, as you will find that cherry pickers, scissor lifts and all other access platforms vary in size. This may mean you require a narrow-bodied scissor lift or a working at height MEWP that can efficiently operate in tight turning circles and confined spaces.
Another important factor when deciding on an appropriate cherry picker or personnel lift is to know your maximum working height. This will ensure that you are working safely without overreaching out of the platform, as this is one of the most common causes of falling out of a MEWP. If you are working within tight, hard-to-reach spaces you will need to consider an access platform that is most suitable. You should also find out if you need to work horizontally, as this will require a boom lift that is designed with horizontal reach capability.
Understand All Your Power Sources
The power source of your MEWP should reflect the environment in which the racking is being installed. You will need to check if fuel or electricity is readily available, so you can decide whether you need an electric-powered or diesel-powered access platform.
If you require a scissor lift with enough power to last a full day, then a diesel-powered machine will be the preferred option to an electric, however some sites may not allow diesel-powered machines on site. You may even find that some job sites aren’t happy for you to use fuel or electric MEWPs, so you will need to consider hiring a push-around platform instead. These are a safer, more cost-effective solution, but are not suitable for working on high installs.
Consider Where the Equipment will be Used
Considering your location and ground conditions within the site should be key factors when choosing the right MEWP for your racking installations. The model and power source you select for your machinery will be impacted by whether you are working on an indoor or outdoor site. Measuring the work area accessibility is another major point as some job sites will have fixed obstacles, emission, and noise restrictions – all key factors to consider when identifying the best equipment for your racking installs.
From tight turning circles, challenges and hazards, you should be wary of your surroundings when operating your working from height access platforms. It’s important to ensure that you are limiting the risk of causing disturbances or accidents. Therefore, to ensure a smooth operation it’s imperative to be aware of your surroundings.
Know Your Preferred Rate Capacity
When choosing the ideal MEWP for your racking installations, your preferred rate capacity should always be appropriate for the workload. Ensuring you have a clear understanding of your racking tools and materials is highly important, as many work from height access platforms are installed with load sensors, which will prevent operation if your cherry picker or boom lift is overloaded.
Access platforms are used to lift a significant amount of materials and tools, so you will need to know the total weight the MEWP is designed to lift and be careful not to overload it. If your site has no width restrictions then you will be able to get a platform with a larger capacity compared to if you require a narrow-bodied platform that is likely to lift less.
For more important tips and advice on access platforms for your warehouse racking installations, contact our team at Horizon Platforms today.