Category Archives: Uncategorized

Elevating Work Platforms (EWP)

Just a quick post regarding EWPs, particularly scissor lifts.  It is a requirement for all persons in the basket to wear a correctly adjusted harness with a lanyard attached to an approved anchor point for boom type EWP.  This is not required for a scissor lift.

A risk assessement should be conducted having regard to the characteristics of the machine, the site and the work to be performed to determine whether a harness and lanyard may be required for persons in the basket of a scissor lift.  If the risk posed by some identified hazard is reduced or eliminated by using a harness and lanyard then these should be required.

Some organisations are implementing ‘blanket’ requirements for the use of harnesses and lanyards without proper identification of hazards and assessment of the risks involved in the use of scissor lifts.  There are circumstances where it is safer not to be tethered to the basket of these machines.  Using such blanket requirements under these circumstances may place operators at greater risk.

As always the risk assessment determines and documents the safest means of completing the task.

Inching Pedal

Most petrol and diesel powered forklift trucks have three pedals.  They are (from left to right) inching pedal, brake pedal, and accelerator pedal.

The inching pedal acts much like the brake but it also disengages the transmission.  On some forklifts this is done via a clutch mechanism, on others by a pressure valve in the transmission.  Your operators manual will advise how the manufacturer recommends this control be used.

In general the inching pedal should be used when manouvering in tight places or into a load.  When fully depressed (and correctly adjusted) it will hold the forklift in place and allow the accelerator to be depressed to provide lifting power to the hydraulic system.  It can also be used when changing from forward to reverse to reduce any stress on the transmission.

Operators should take care not to ride the inching pedal as this causes unnecessary wear on the clutch/transmission.

Check out our forklift page.

Rigging

Licensing for riggers continues to be a ‘problem’ area in NSW.

When licensing was aligned to units of competency in September 2009 significant increases in tasks and equipment required for training were introduced.

Unfortunately, the licence assessment were left unchanged leading to a lot of confusion for RTOs, companies and learners. This situation remains unresolved today.

What needs to happen now is that learners need to be trained and assessed according to the increased requirements of the relevant unit of competency prior to undertaking the national high risk work licence assessment.

In basic rigging this means additional tasks such as erection of a materials hoist, placement of precast concrete, installation of a cantileverd crane loading platform must be addressed in the training and initial assessment for the unit of competency although the licence assessment is still based primarily on the erection of structural steel.

Similarly with intermediate rigging, additional tasks now included are tilt slabs and scenery panels, tasks related to demolition and dual crane lifts or combination crane and winch lifts.

These additional tasks not only require the necessary additional equipment but a much larger area to train and assess with safety. Our dual crane lift, for example, requires 900 square metres to fit both cranes, their extended booms and the load.

The level of investment required to deliver these programs has been significant for most training organisations. Uncertainty regarding the form of the new licence assessments which are still ‘under development’ has created reluctance to make these investments. Having ample land on which to conduct these programs has made it relatively easier for HPOTS Training than for other training organisations. Its still a big call to invest substantial monies in the hope that the new licence assessment instruments will include all of these tasks and equipment.