Work platform is a type of mechanized access device that is used to provide safe and convenient access for maintenance or cleaning tasks at height. A work platform can be a ladder, stepladder or scaffold platform with the ability to raise or lower workers to an optimum working height to increase productivity and reduce back injuries and fatigue. These platforms can be made from a variety of materials including stainless steel, galvanized and painted metals. Some can be used on a flat surface while others are designed to be moved, which makes them useful in packing and assembly stations or areas where heavy equipment is operated. These types of platforms may be fitted with a safety or guard rail to contain operators and passengers as well as a restraining point, which is designed to secure a fall arrester or safety harness.
A worker can control the drive and lift functions of an aerial work platform (AWP) from either a panel on the unit itself or a central location at the base of the machine, depending on the model. Some are fitted with a remote control to allow an operator to be situated away from the work area but still able to operate the controls safely.
Generally, work platforms are fitted with a set of stairs to facilitate boarding and exiting the structure as well as safety features to protect operators from falls and other accidents. The staircase must be of adequate width to accommodate a person moving with a tool or container and free from trip hazards, while the floor must have slip-resistant treads. Guard rails must be placed around the entire perimeter of the platform to prevent people from falling off, and in General Industry situations, they are required to be 4 feet high.
Some work platforms are fitted with a platform grate to provide an effective surface for working at height and to ensure that the area beneath the work platform is free from holes, snags or other potential trip hazards. These types of grating are typically made from stainless or galvanized steel and may be equipped with antimicrobial coatings to help prevent the growth of bacteria, which can cause illnesses in workers.
For added safety, some work platforms are fitted with a retractable ladder to assist with egress in the event of an emergency. These ladders are usually attached to the work platform using a secure locking system and are easy to extend when needed for use.
Some trestle work platforms, which are designed for light, short duration jobs such as decorating and painting, can be provided without edge protection to save money, although this is not recommended by health and safety regulations. Other fall prevention equipment should be prioritised before these types of equipment are used unless there are no other alternatives. In addition to ensuring that a work platform is suitably designed and constructed, employers must ensure that employees are familiar with the risks associated with working at height, as well as providing them with the appropriate training and information to avoid injury or illness. Piattaforma lavoro