Safety First Review

Published September 2011
Jason Dougherty

What is the safest elevated platform?

I have been in the safety management role a little over 10 years now and as I am sure many of you know, everyone’s idea of “safety” has varying degrees.

While the safety of workers is a main concern for many companies, how they go about achieving maximum safety with the equipment being used comes down to a simple comparison of the equipment’s features and the application they are looking to accomplish.

As most companies tend to use standard ladders, stands, and platforms from Little Giant, Cotterman, and AllMetal, sometimes working with basic safety equipment isn’t always the safest route to go, or the most practical.

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make with their equipment is going with the cheaper options that provide the workers with the bare minimum. Aside from the possibility of slipping and falling, using a ladder that a worker must set up on uneven ground, walk up, and have a 3 – 5 foot area of reach that requires them to constantly stretch to maximum their reach and then move the ladder along the work area can be expensive and time consuming with a high risk of injury (Werner).

So what is the best option that provides maximum safety, stability, and productivity?

A piece of equipment that was recently brought to my attention at a Safety Trade Show from a company out of Bardstown, Kentucky is the X-Deck. The X-Deck was specifically designed to address all of the issues mentioned above – safety being the biggest feature. I will briefly highlight some of the ways the X-Deck is able to maximize productivity in the work place, reduce risk of injury, and offer a convenient option that pays for itself in the long run.

The X-Deck is described as an “always assembled scaffold” that is ready for set up right out of the box and takes no longer than sliding out a pin, choosing the desired height, then securing the pin back in place – our shop workers are able to set it up in under 20 seconds.

With safety equipment comes the need for OSHA compliancy which usually comes with inspection, paperwork, and more paperwork. However, the X-Deck is OSHA compliant right from the start – requiring none of the usual processes to certify safety equipment. At the Safety Trade Show in 2010, a number of OSHA workers attending the show favored the X-Deck among all the safety equipment choices because it best met their requirements without needing additional tagging and inspection.

The fact that the X-Deck is made of a 60/61 grade aluminum means it’s a strongly built deck with all the benefits of using lightweight aluminum – making it easy to carry by workers around the shop with the ability to lift it with a finger but still put a car on top of with certified weights up to 4000lbs.

The Flex Technology with aggressive tread on the deck is another huge safety feature of the X-Deck. Studies show that the tread used on the X-Deck provides the most grip with maximum slip resistance which helps minimizing risk of slipping, falling, or other related injuries. The Flex Technology is gives the decks a better grip with the rubber shoes, as well makes it easier on the workers back and feet when working on the deck for extended periods of time – similar to workers using patted mats over concrete floors.