Maintenance and repair work is a rewarding job. Additionally, it is an important part of sustaining a productive business. Particularly in factories and other industrial facilities, broken equipment means that production lines may grind to a halt.
Stopped or delayed production could mean a loss of revenue.
Sometimes failed equipment doesn’t halt production completely. But it can affect safety and security in the case of lighting and closed-circuit television (CCTV) and surveillance cameras used in premises monitoring. It is important to get these systems back up and running as soon as possible.
While making repairs to pole lighting and pole-mounted CCTV cameras, networking components, sirens and other equipment must be done quickly, there is another consideration. The repairs must be done safely as well. Protecting workers’ lives and health demands that you implement and use safe work practices.
Traditional methods are potentially unsafe
Three of the most common means of reaching elevated lighting and equipment are scaffolds, elevated working platforms (EWP), and ladders. All of these methods have the potential to put workers — and often others — at risk.
For example, EWPs seem like a relatively safe solution. However, the risk of swinging the platform into electrical wiring or even the side of a building exists. If workers are not properly harnessed to the platform, over-reaching to grasp the damaged equipment could result in a disastrous fall.
People on the ground are also at jeopardy. Any time there is moving equipment, traffic control is vital to keeping people and vehicles safe from danger. In fact, to be properly conducted, any repairs using an elevated work platform require a minimum of three people:
· The worker on the platform
· The platform tractor driver
· The person conducting traffic control
Scaffolding is not much better. For one thing, it must be constructed at the worksite, which can be dangerous. Climbing up and working from the scaffolding puts workers at risk from falls. A minimum of two people must be present for scaffold work, both for setting it up and for monitoring worker activity.
Ladders are probably the most common method used when getting repairs done quickly is important. However, in many ways this is the most dangerous method. People tend to get lax with setting them up and with using them properly. Many workers have fallen and been injured or even killed by improper ladder set up, or by overreaching and losing their balance.
There has got to be a better way to protect workers repairing pole lighting and other pole-mounted equipment. One that can not only allow repairs to be done efficiently, but safely as well.
A safer way to repair pole-mounted devices
Rather than climbing up to the defective light, camera, or other device, lowering the fixture to the worker would be a safer option. The worker keeps both feet firmly planted on a stable surface.
Not only would the repair technician be able to work on the fixture safely, but because he or she wouldn’t have to worry about falling, the technician could thoroughly diagnose the problem and make a more effective repair.
For heavier fixtures, an added benefit is realized. The worker would not have to balance or carry a heavy, awkward fixture while trying to navigate up and down a ladder or scaffold. Tools and repair components would be easily within reach.
A simple, cost-effective solution would be to install a joint that swivels downward, lowering the light fixture or other pole-mounted equipment to the workers comfortable working level. Work, repairs, or replacement of the fixture could be accomplished safely, with the worker able to use both hands to repair and not worry about losing their grip on the ladder or other climbing device.
Along with increased worker safety, there is another benefit as well. Since one person can lower the pole into position, there is no need for a second or third worker to steady the ladder, monitor the scaffold, or control the traffic around an EWP.
That sound like a great idea if you are installing the pole and accompanying fixtures or equipment for the first time. In Greenfield installations, that is certainly a design consideration.
However, if you are working with preexisting Brownfield poles, you might believe that the solution, no matter how attractive, is beyond your reach.
Actually, there are conversion kits that permit retrofitting existing poles with the swiveling joint. To retrofit the existing poles, two people will be required to complete the installation.
But once it is done, you may never need to use more than one worker to complete the repairs, upgrades, or maintenance of pole-mounted lights, CCTV cameras, warning sirens and horns, or networking receivers.
Your workers are able to make more efficient and faster repairs, saving you time and money. But the most important benefit is the job can be done safely by eliminating the risk of falling.
In the end … everyone wins.
Find out what the Maxis™ pole conversion system can do for your maintenance workers’ safety.
Maxis™ is the next generation lowering pole solution for safely accessing light fixtures and equipment.