When a new mixing plant was built at a flour mill, two flour sifters were introduced. General cleaning and maintenance work on the flour sifters is required at least three or four times a week. The task was difficult and posed many hazards because the chamber that had to be cleaned on the sifters was two metres above the floor. Employees carrying out the task would climb on boxes or any other available to reach the required work height.
Some employees would stand on low items which caused considerable stretching and over-reaching. Other staff would climb on forklifts or rubbish bins to reach the chamber. The management of the flour mill realised that the task involved several manual handling hazards and the potential of serious injury from falls.
The employees at the workplace were consulted and along with the department manager and works engineer decided that a sturdy, portable work platform was needed.
The workplace and tasks were examined and a platform was built to meet the specific requirements of the employees. The design of the platform conforms to the Australian Standard AS 1657- Fixed Platforms, Walkway, Stairways and Ladders.
The standing area is approximately one metre off the ground and it has a two-step ladder to reach the platform. The platform surface is slip resistant. There is a fixed handrail on three sides and the step ladder is guarded by a safety chain while the platform is in use. The guard railing is set at 950 mm above the platform. The platform is made of lightweight aluminium and has locking castor wheels to aid the stability and mobility of the platform.
Hierarchy of Controls:
- The job is safer and healthier.
- Employees now work at the optimum height to clean the machine and no longer have to stand on flour bags, forklifts or rubbish bins to clean the sifters.