Why Training Is Essential To Operate Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms Safely
Blog-February 3, 2023
Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms (VMAPs) are an essential part of many infrastructure projects. But without the proper training, they carry a number of safety risks which can lead to delays, hazards – and potentially serious injuries.
What are the vehicle mounted access platform safety risks?
Working from heights is always considered a health and safety risk; 123 UK workers died in 2022 as a result of falls¹. Whilst Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms present a safe and efficient way of working at height, there are still a number of other safety risks – all of which require operators to be highly trained.
Some of these are related to proper care and maintenance. If not set up or secured properly, the platform can be unstable – potentially causing it to tip over. Equally, if the vehicle is not properly maintained, sudden machinery failures can lead to accidents.
Other risks relate to operators’ skill and knowledge of the vehicle. If the operator does not have proper control over the vehicle mounted access platform, there is a risk of collision with other vehicles or obstacles – not to mention the risks to the person working on the platform.
How training mitigates the risk
Comprehensive safety training is not just a matter of legal requirement – it can actually save lives. By ensuring the operator is familiar with the proper safety procedures – as well as protocols for maintaining the equipment and noticing when additional support is required – the right training course will make your operators safer, more confident and more efficient.
Training should include information on how to properly set up and secure the platform; how to properly use the controls and safety features; and how to safely access and work from the platform. Additionally, safety training can help to prevent accidents and injuries by teaching operators how to recognize and avoid potential hazards.
But simply memorising this information is not enough – it needs to be used. And that is where most training programmes run into a serious problem.
Why training needs to use real vehicles
Sitting in a classroom or at a computer is one thing; making decisions in the moment is another. Just 12% of employees say they have been able to apply what they learned in training courses to their real-world job².
Why? Because they learn in an artificial environment divorced from their real day-to-day work. A trainee may take in all of the information, but it is less likely to stick – and far less likely to become a lasting habit that ensures consistently safe operation.
This is a common problem with operator training. While International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) training is the industry gold-standard, few organisations are able to offer the programmes using vehicle mounted access platforms – which is exactly why Access Hire stepped up.
Access Hire helps your site stay safe
We now offer full IPAF training onsite using our market leading range of Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms. Not only does this ensure operators are properly accredited – it gives them the opportunity to learn skills specific to the vehicle they’ll be using on site.
This makes the training more relevant and helps them memorise the information more effectively. As a result, safety practices become real habits. The operator follows every safety protocol and operates the vehicle properly without even thinking – and that is what you need to keep your site safe.