February 21, 2024


Types of Suspended Access Platforms

Table Of Contents
suspended access platform

Swing Stages: Commonly used for window washing and facade maintenance.

Boatswain’s Chairs: Used to suspend a person from a rope for work aloft, often incorporating safety devices similar to rock climbing harnesses.

Suspended Work Platform System: Comprises overhead fixed supports, suspension lines, hoisting devices, and work platforms, moved vertically but not including boatswain’s chairs or multi-point suspended work platforms.

Multi-point Suspended Work Platform: Supported from overhead by at least three primary load-carrying means for stability, more than 750 millimeters in width.

Regulations and Safety Standards

Training Requirements: Workers using, installing, or inspecting suspended work platforms must complete specific training programs outlined by the IHSA. Training includes oral and written instruction on regulations, fall hazards, personal protective equipment, and emergency rescue procedures.

Safety Checklist: Includes ensuring the operator is competent, all components are properly rigged, failsafe devices are in working order, and power supplies are adequate and grounded. Also involves checking for abrasions on fibre ropes and having emergency rescue procedures in place.

Notice of Use: Constructors must complete an approved notification form for the Ministry of Labour, Trade and Skills Development when using a suspended work platform system on a construction project.

Innovations and Technological Advancements

The research did not provide specific innovations in suspended access platform technology. However, the industry is generally moving towards enhanced safety features and automated controls.

Training and Certification

Competency Requirements: Workers must be qualified through knowledge, training, and experience. They should be familiar with relevant acts and regulations and aware of potential or actual dangers in the workplace.

Certification Process: Employers must ensure that workers complete a training program and provide written proof of completion. Workers need to demonstrate proficiency in various aspects, including personal protective equipment use, rigging procedures, and safe operation of the equipment.

Maintenance and Inspection

Inspection and Maintenance: Before the first use of a suspended work platform system at a project, the entire system must be inspected, tested, and maintained as per regulations and manufacturer’s instructions.

Safety Precautions: It’s essential to inspect all equipment before erecting and before each shift, use appropriate fall arrest systems, secure ropes and guardrails, and ensure all safety equipment is functional.

Challenges and Solutions

Load Capacity: Platforms should not exceed their load capacity.

Safe Access: Workers should enter or leave the platform only at ground level or other safe access points.

Electrical Hazards: Avoiding working near exposed electrical circuits and ensuring cables are not in water-collecting areas.

Equipment Integrity: Using undamaged equipment, not altering platform components, and not using fall arrest systems for material handling.