Safety at Height
fmME checks out Rapid Access' range of LOW-level access equipment
When Rapid Access says that it has a line of new equipment that could fundamentally change the way people work at height, then, well, we have to sit up and take notice—Rapid Access is, after all, one of the Middle East’s leading providers of safe access solutions, with about 20 years of experience in this region.
The company has now brought to market a range of low-level powered access equipment, which allow for operators to do a lot more when working at height, without ever having to compromise their own safety.
Rapid Access is the sole dealer for these machines, which have been manufactured by the UK-based Power Towers. According to Peter Ellis, sales manager, Power Towers, who has been assisting Rapid Access to develop the low-level powered access market in the region’s construction and FM sectors, the use of these machines can result in a number of benefits.
“The Power Towers range of products are lightweight push-around and self-propelled machines that allow work to be completed safer, faster and with less resources, when compared to using steps, ladders or mobile scaffolds,” Ellis says.
According to Mark Robinson, QHSE and training manager, Rapid Access, these new machines can be of particular use to the FM industry, where they can have several different applications on a work site.
“Historically, people have worked at height using podiums, step ladders, small mobile access towers, etc. and we also know that about 50% of fatalities are caused when people fall from height, which is generally from a low level, roughly about three metres and below,” Robinson says.
With these new low-level access platforms, people having to work at height get to make use of a compact-sized machine that is easy to control, move and operate, while also allowing for them to concentrate on only the job at hand and thus lift or hold items using both hands, as the equipment guarantees their safety at heights.
“It enables safe operation, quicker installation, and lets the operator have full visual awareness and control of the machine before they actually start their work,” Robinson says. “It also reduces manpower, increases productivity, and is a lot cheaper as well.”
Darren Spring, UAE sales manager, Rapid Access, also notes that the Power Towers machines, being an indoor platform range, can used by FM professionals at a site with minimal disruption to the facility’s usual activities.
“These machines work indoors, and enables our clients to work safely at height,” Spring says. “We’ve also got a range of manual machines, which are cost-effective and eco-friendly.”
Regardless of the type of machine, Rapid Access also offers training to operate these tools at its facility, with courses that have been accredited by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), thereby further assuring safety when working at heights.