Operators of aerial working platforms (AWP) often perform egress at height. It involves reaching elevated areas and then enter/exit the basket. Let’s analyse the rules on how to perform egress at height in total safety.
A manufacturer who conceived the machine for egress at height must build it according to the associated hazards and in compliance with the essential requirements (ESR) of EN 280 and of Annex 1 of 2006/42/EC.
How to design an egress at height
Before designing an egress at height, the main factors that characterise it must be identified:
- the type of work to be carried out
- the location of the egress at height
- the suitable AWP for egress (e.g., with swivel boom, with or without outriggers, etc.).
If the manual states that egress is prohibited, the user must follow the procedure established by the manufacturer to egress. If there is no prohibition, then the user must follow the egress procedure as set out in the instruction manual. The selection of the basket is essential to egress.
Operators must be trained and aware of the risks involved, the procedures to be adopted and the correct use of PPE. The operators involved in these operations are:
- the AWP operator who will, among other things, be familiar with the egress procedure;
- the workers who will egress at height who will have to be trained, informed and instructed on the procedures, on the use of the necessary PPE and in particular on the category 3rd PPE required for egress (adjustable lanyard in the basket and additional lanyard with connectors for the egress phases);
- the person on the ground to manage any emergency situations.
The four possible egress accesses
Egress at height is characterised by four access conditions:
- Access to an area protected by parapets on the whole perimeter (CPE). In this case, the worker can access the safe area by unhooking the anchoring point and exiting the basket. This is the optimum digress condition even though it may be dangerous because the AWP driver has not full visibility from the ground.
- Tangential access to an area protected by parapets but exposed to the falling risk due to AWP movements (oscillations). A fall arrest anchorage point is required.
- Access with an anchorage point or available lifelines within easy reach of the operators from inside the basket.
- Access without anchorage points. In this case, the employer must identify a mobile anchorage point to which the worker will hook before egressing.
Magni has also created an ad hoc attachment for these special requests: the RRP model 10.2.5-3.5. This extendable rotating platform has a maximum capacity of 1,000 kg and is approved to carry 3 people. It features an openable bulkhead at front to facilitate operator entry or exit. It is equipped with sensors that prevent movements when the basket is open. Moreover, an overload sensor and an anti-shock rack have been installed to prevent jolts. This attachment can be fitted to the entire Magni range: RTH, HTH and TH (the radio remote is required to use the attachment).
Therefore, these high-risk operations must be carefully planned. Magni knows all about planning and provides useful tools and designs for different types of egresses. Operators only need to prepare themselves and choose the machine that best meets their needs.