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HSE approves transport platforms

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has published important safety guidance on transport platforms. When these very versatile machines were first imported to the UK from continental Europe in the early 1990's they were condemned by many as unsafe and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) indicated that they probably contravened the requirements of Regulations 5(1) and 6(1) of LOLER. The CPA document establishes best practice for their use.

Speaking at the launch of the guide, Andrew East of the HSE's Construction group said: "The CPA's Best Practice Guide has been fully endorsed by the Chief Inspector of Construction, Kevin Myers. It has been sent to all of the HSE inspectors in the field."

The guide provides best practice for those responsible for the planning, safe installation, use, maintenance, inspection, thorough examination and testing of transport platforms.

Transport platforms are similar to goods/ passenger hoists and, at first glance, can be easily mistaken for them. However, transport platforms are slow moving and are similar in many ways to mast climbing platforms in that they are used as a moving work platform. Some of these machines are very versatile "dual function" machines that can be switched between "transport platform mode" and "hoist mode".

Modifications were applicable to some older transport platforms used to carry passengers and the main requirements were that they must be fitted with:
 falling object protection, i.e. a roof;
 a full height base enclosure with gates which are electrically interlocked;
 carrier gates that cannot open outwards inadvertently;
 landing gates that comply with the provisions of BS EN 12159.

* Copies of the CPA Best Practice Guide are obtainable from the Construction Plant-hire Association, 52 Rochester Row, London, SW1P 1JU, UK. Tel: +44 20 7630 6767; price £7.50 incl. p&p.