The recent COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of non-essential shops and encouraged shoppers to look at online options and home delivery. UK retail sales in May 2020 rocketed by 33.4%, meaning warehouse and logistics supply needed further support to meet this demand.
A recent survey of British consumers found that 38% are planning to stick to online shopping after the pandemic, so warehouses will need to continue to meet the demands of online sales in the coming years. Over the last five years, we have seen an increase in warehouse and logistics operations in the UK, meaning a huge demand for racking fit-outs and efficient space solutions.
Central to this is the ability to transport warehouse racking materials, whilst working safely at a height. This will inevitably mean an increase in sales and hire for access platforms and forklifts and the need to understand how to operate them safely and efficiently.
Horizon Platforms have put together some tips on how you can select the correct equipment and machines for your warehouse racking installations and how to safely operate your access platforms on site.
How to Select the Right Equipment & Machines
If you are looking to rent mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) or forklift trucks, there are some important factors to consider to ensure safe and efficient operation on your racking installations. Think about the appropriate maximum working height and width of the installation to ensure you are working safely, consider what power sources are available and ensure your preferred rate capacity is appropriate for the workload.
Top 5 Tips for On Site Usage of MEWPs & Forklifts
It’s your responsibility to check that your access platforms are regularly inspected to ensure they remain functional and safe to operate. It’s important to follow these five top tips to comply with UK regulations and avoid unwanted accidents when completing your racking installation.
- Checks and Examinations
It’s vital to perform daily checks and examinations on all access platforms and forklifts, to ensure safe use of your MEWPs on site. Rigorously following regular examinations to check your scissor lifts and other access platforms are safe, clean, and in full working order will enable your project to run efficiently.
The access platform operator must complete an examination every morning. This daily check acts as an important visual for supervisors and any unexpected health and safety checks that may occur on site.
- Operator Training Requirements
There are many racking installation regulations, such as having the legal training requirements to operate your MEWPs and forklifts. Many sites will require evidence that the operator has relevant and current training to operate the access platforms safely on site.
For MEWPS you will require IPAF operator training. Once you have passed your training, you will receive a certification as evidence. It’s important all employees receive the correct training to ensure installation is not postponed.
- Creating an Emergency Plan
It is extremely important to plan for emergencies or rescues that may need to be attended to. When working on a warehouse racking installation you should always have an established emergency plan in place. This will identify what to do if a MEWP experiences a malfunction or an accident happens involving a scissor lift or forklift truck.
- Consider Your Surroundings
When completing a racking installation you should take into account your surrounding environment, including tight turning circles, challenges, and hazards. You need to ensure that you can operate your machinery without causing any disturbances or accidents. When operating your access platforms and forklifts, it is imperative to stay aware of your surroundings to ensure smooth operation.
- Working Within the Platform
Ensuring you are working within the platform is important, as overreaching is one the most common causes of falling from a MEWP. If you were to select the wrong type of scissor lift for your racking installation, you could find yourself having to overstretch to complete the job, making this unsafe. If you have tight, hard-to-reach spaces you will need to consider an access platform that is most suitable for these confined spaces.
As the demand for warehouse racking installations grows, it’s crucial to choose the correct machinery to complete your project for a safe and efficient working environment, whilst also knowing how to operate your equipment safely.
Read More About the Safe Operation of MEWPS in Racking Installation
Our racking installation whitepaper is full of tips and advice on best practice use of MEWPs during installation. From guidance on the safe operation of machines through to advice on the best MEWP to select for your installation, you’ll find plenty of helpful information in our free whitepaper.
For more advice on selecting the right access platform for your warehouse racking installations, contact our team at Horizon Platforms today.