Whilst it often boils down to common sense, there are lots of things you should consider when using and deciding which cherry pickers to hire. To help you navigate the rules, regulations and directives concerning safe working practices, we’ve put together the following questions that you should be able to answer before using a cherry picker or any vehicle-mounted access platform.
What does the job entail?
It may sound obvious, but always make sure you pick the right cherry picker for the job. Think carefully about what heights and loads you will be working with, and always hire a vehicle-mounted platform that can perform the task at hand within its safe limits. For example, choose a platform height that has a bit more capacity than you think you will need in order to provide a buffer for any unanticipated obstacles that could arise. This will avoid workers being tempted to “improvise”, and decrease the risk of accidents happening. If you are unsure, Highway Hire’s team of experts will be pleased to assist you in selecting the right van mounted access platforms.
What are the working conditions like?
Don’t forget to check the conditions of the surface that you will be using the cherry picker on. Uneven surfaces and potholes can present a health and safety hazard, so having a thorough look round before you start is good practice. Be sure to look out for worn concrete slabs and badly constructed roads, as these could easily crumble under heavy weight. Checking what is above you should form part of the routine, too. Are there any overhead cables or street lighting that could present a hindrance when positioning the boom?
In a broader sense, there should always be someone on site who is taking responsibility for the working area and making sure that anyone coming on site does not jeopardise their own or other people’s safety.
Is the Cherry Picker in good working order?
It is extremely important that any vehicle mounted platform equipment is well maintained, as even the highest quality machinery can break down. Getting equipment inspected by a specialist at least every six months will help reduce the likelihood of the equipment failing. Simple checks and inspections are also recommended on a regular basis, which will assess the condition of the equipment and pick up any potential problems so they can be addressed before they become a hazard.
When hiring a vehicle-mounted platform from Highway Hire, you can rest assured that all equipment has been well maintained, regularly serviced and inspected by our team of experts.
Do I have a competent Cherry Picker operator?
Site operators and employers have a legal duty to look after the safety of people working and visiting their site. Although there is not any legislation that requires cherry picker operators to possess any specialist qualifications, it is extremely important that they are competent to reduce the likelihood of an accident. And, don’t forget that in the unfortunate case that an accident does happen, whoever is responsible for the site at the time will be liable for letting that operator use the equipment.
Bearing this in mind, it is a sensible precaution to request that vehicle mounted access platform operators are trained and have appropriate evidence of this. If you do not have a suitable MEWPS operator, Highway Hire is able to provide you with an IPAF and CPCS accredited operator with a valid CSCS card.
Please note: this is not an exhaustive list, but has been produced to give you an idea of some of the considerations that should be made when using and hiring cherry pickers.