Work platforms come in many configurations. If one is not familiar with the different configurations, selecting the right work platform can be a daunting task. Some of the questions that must be answered during the selection process to ensure an appropriate work platform is selected are:
How high should the work platform be? First determine the average height of the work area. From the average height that will be accessed, subtract about 4 feet to determine the work platform height. When standing on the top of the work platform, the average work height will then be about shoulder high depending on the height of the individual on the work platform.
Should I select a mobile work platform or a stationary work platform? As the name implies, a mobile work platform is designed such that moving it from one location to another is convenient. Conversely, a stationary work platform “stays put”. A stationary work platform can be moved from one location to another, but this will not be as easily done as with a mobile work platform. If the work platform will seldom (or never) be moved, then a stationary work platform is generally recommended.
Should the work platform have handrails? As a general rule, yes the work platform should have handrails. The exception to this rule is if the handrails will interfere with the work being done on the work platform, then a work platform without handrails should be chosen.
Do I need a crossover work platform? As the name implies, this type of work platform is used to “cross over” an obstacle in the work place. Crossover work platforms are often used to get from one side of a conveyor system to the other.
Will the work platform fit in the available work space? The length x width of the base is a good place to start. This will determine if the work platform will fit in the workspace. One must also consider the stairway to the work platform will require room also. One must also consider if the work platform is a mobile design. If so, then the work platform will require room for maneuvering from one location to the other. The base dimensions must allow for a 180 degree spin and/or allow movements around corners of shelves when these movements are required in the workspace.
What type of material should the work platform be made of? Work platforms are usually made of painted steel, but some models are available in aluminum and stainless steel. Painted work platforms are less expensive, but must be protected from the elements. Aluminum and stainless work platforms are more expensive, but are rust resistant.
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