4 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Lift for Painting
There are several different aspects to consider when determining the best way to paint elevated areas. Painting supplies vary from commercial and industrial application to residential and DIY. Selecting the correct elevated solution for your commercial paint job can save you time and money but first you need to consider…
1. What does the work area look like?
What will the working height be? Are there obstacles the operator will have to position over? Is it outdoors, indoors or both? How large is the area and is it difficult to access with large scissor lifts? What are the floor load requirements?
All of these questions are good questions to ask prior to selecting an elevated access solution. If you are working under 20 ft, you do not need a 19 ft scissor lift. If you are working outdoors and have to elevate over some landscaping, a boom lift would be more appropriate. Narrow hallways and small spaces might get damaged if the scissor lift you are using is too large.
Step one is understanding the unique attributes of the site, so you can plan for maximum safety, efficiency, and cost reduction.
2. How much weight do you plan on putting in the air?
Be sure to include the weight of your equipment (paint sprayer, paint, etc.) and the weight of the operator. Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP) and ladders both have specific weight restrictions that must be adhered to for safety and usability.
3. Is the equipment you are using easy to maneuver?
An often overlooked aspect in MEWP selection is the step-in height of the platform. It might not seem important but image trying to lift 5 gallon paint buckets into a platform that, at its lowest height, is up to the average operator’s shoulders. Lifting heavy equipment and materials into high work platforms can put operators in danger and cause unnecessary fatigue.
4. How long do you plan to work at height?
If you are doing some small touch ups where you’re going up for a minute or two then coming back down? If that is the case, you won’t need a lot of gear and the answer might be a smaller push around MEWP or ladder. But if the elevated area you are painting is large, you will be using more equipment and paint and need them up there with you to be productive and reduce trips up and down. In that instance a MEWP with a larger work platform that could travel directionally while elevated would be ideal.
Working at height for extended periods of time can be tiring for workers as well. Utilizing a ladder might seem like a better option because of cost, but someone working on a ladder will fatigue much quicker than a worker utilizing a MEWP. We recommend a Ladders Last philosophy when it comes to elevated work and only use ladders when you have no other option.
There are many aspects that will go into your choice of elevated work solution. Always consider the safety and efficiency of your workers when considering which solution to use.