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What are the four main emergency lowering procedures for elevated working platforms?

Safety is an integral factor if you’re planning on operating elevated working platforms as a future career path. To ensure you remain safe, even in the event of the main power supply failing when operating a platform, it’s crucial for you to be aware of the four main emergency lowering procedures. The lowering procedure you choose is dependent on the type of lowering system that’s been fitted to your elevated working platform, which ranges from an auxiliary power motor or an emergency lowering cable to a hand pump or a bleed down valve. Before you attempt to lower a platform if a power failure emergency arises, the first step is to check and make sure the lowering path has no obstructions. Once you’ve cleared away any obstructions you can then safely follow one of the four emergency lowering procedures listed below:

Procedure 1: Emergency lowering procedure using an auxiliary power motor

An auxiliary power unit (APU) is generally fitted to either the scissor or boom elevated working platform. The electric motor receives power from the machines battery, which is connected to a hydraulic pump. If the main power supply fails, the controls of the APU motor can be switched on at the base of the platform to start the hydraulic pump delivering hydraulic pressure to the platform for lowering.

Procedure 2: Emergency lowering procedure using an emergency lowering cable

If a scissor elevated working platform isn’t fitted with an APU, it will have an emergency lowering cable. The cable can be found at the base of the platform. When pulled during an emergency, the cable activates a manual lowering valve which lowers the platform to the base.

Procedure 3: Emergency lowering procedure using a bleed down valve

A bleed down valve can be fitted to all types of different elevated working platforms. It’s operated by pushing the plunger which can be found on the cylinder.

Procedure 4: Emergency lowering procedure using a hand pump

This manual lowering system can be fitted to either a scissor or boom elevated working platform and is found at the base. By pulling the hand pump you can manually lower the platform safely.

To find out more about emergency lowering procedures read the Elevated Work Platform Association of Australia’s guide.

If you’d like to receive training and certification enabling you to pursue a career operating elevated work platforms contact Elevated Training today.