7 Signs Your Elevated Work Platforms Need Regular Maintenance

Elevating Work Platforms, also known as EWPs, is a business-critical heavy machinery commonly used in farms, docks, construction projects, and warehouses. This heavy machinery has been designed to lift loads or people to a certain height to access specific areas.

Besides the worksites mentioned, rescue workers and firefighters use Work Platforms to gain entry to inaccessible areas. EWPs are mainly set up and operated by a single person; all standard EWPs can lift a minimum of 1 ton of weight. There are various kinds of elevating work platforms in the market catering to different purposes and sporting additional features.

While this heavy machinery is indispensable in certain industries, proper maintenance and repairs must be carried out regularly to manage and eliminate risks.

The Different Kinds of Elevating Work Platforms Found in The Market

There are three common types of elevating work platforms:

  • Scissor lifts
  • Vertical lifts
  • Boom lifts – can be further divided into two categories, articulated boom lifts and telescopic boom lifts

Each of these kinds can either be mobile or static. Vertical lift EWPs are also known as scissor lifts due to the crisscross lifting mechanism. Similarly, booms lifts are sometimes called cherry pickers as this heavy equipment was originally used to harvest cherries and other fruits from the tall trees growing in orchards.

Signs That Indicate That Your Elevated Work Platforms Need Maintenance or Repairs

The only way to detect the signs that indicate maintenance issues in EWPs is through regular pre and post-operational checks. Ensure that you maintain the same records available to all personnel conducting these checks. Here are some signs you must look out for a while conducting inspections on elevated work platforms, indicating the necessity for proper maintenance or repairs.

  • Check if the oil level in the engine and the hydraulic system is at its optimum levels. If there is an increase or decrease in the fluid levels, the machine will not be able to perform efficiently and can compromise the safety of everyone working at the job site.
  • Damaged and worn-out tyres are a major red flag for such heavy machinery. Low air pressure in tires will hinder their movement and flexibility. Low tyre pressure and damaged tyre show heavy equipment maintenance is due. 
  • If you spot fresh oil stains on the ground, look for leaks in the hydraulic system, hoses, or pipes. This can bring the machine to a standstill and would require immediate maintenance to operate again.
  • Before getting the elevated working platform to the job site, check the mobility of the pivot points and the gate-locking systems. If the pivot points are not moving smoothly, apply oil and grease to eliminate this problem. The platform gate locking systems are a major safety net and needs to be in optimum condition at all times. If you feel they are malfunctioning, contact the inspecting personnel and resolve the problems.
  • Check the padding provided on the top rails of the platform, as they are there to prevent injuries. The padding must be in optimum condition to avoid all possible workplace injuries and protect the labourers working at the site.
  • If the elevated working platform you are using comes with sprockets and chains and is not in optimum condition, take measures to replace them immediately. Sub standards attachments increase the risk of materials falling from a great height if the EWP is fully erected.
  • Lastly, look for signs of stress and cracks on the platform, booms, and stabilising bars. These signs indicated the absence of proper maintenance and must be addressed immediately.

Who Can Look for These Signs of Maintenance in Elevated Work Platforms?

According to Worksafe Australia, a competent person must have the right qualifications, Training, knowledge, and experience to carry out the inspections safely and properly.

This also includes thorough knowledge regarding all relevant Australian codes of legislation and practice. However, this competent person will only carry out major annual inspections and can be contacted only when major repairs are required. Otherwise, a worker trained in inspection requirements can perform the job for daily routine inspections.

In Conclusion

EWPs are mission-critical machinery and thus need to be properly maintained for efficiency and productivity. If you need a competent person to carry out annual or daily EWP service, contact your local reputed service provider and ask for a detailed quotation. Maintain your heavy machinery at top form and work safely.