Construction workers are not the only ones who need to be lifted higher on a typical working day. Several workers in other industries, including the distribution, electrical transmission, and the food and beverage sectors, need to work at height and deserve the utmost protection while completing their tasks.
The food and beverage industry, in particular, can be daunting and highly demanding. Not only does the industry seem to operate on thin profit margins, but it is also constantly faced with health and safety challenges.
Within a food and beverage factory, plant engineers will, at a point, need to work at different heights to perform some tasks. They might also need to access hard-to-reach areas, probably due to the presence of spanning pipes or conveyors. But one thing remains constant when completing any job at height: we all want safe, durable, maneuverable, versatile, and reliable equipment that will aid easy accessibility and keep the workers safe while getting the job done on time.
Scaffolding has long been a popular solution for accessing heights, i.e., working off the ground for extended periods. With about 70% of the access industry market dominated by scaffolding, it is obvious why most people opt for scaffolds to reach higher levels. However, while scaffolding can provide variable working heights and larger elevated platforms, they might not be the best or most convenient option, as it continues to lag in one main costly area: SAFETY.
Occupational safety and health are becoming an increasing focus for the food and beverage manufacturing sector. According to 2014 data from Liberty Mutual’s 2017 Workplace Safety Index, workplace falls, both to the same level and a level below, led to a combined $16.12 billion in direct costs to businesses. In addition, these injuries rank right behind overexertion, the number 1 cause of workplace injuries.
These falls from height remain the leading cause of fatal injuries at the workplace, with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of particular concern. Statistics by the Health and Safety Executive [HSE] shows that in 2013/14 and 2014/15, the food and beverage sector was responsible for 28% and 26% respectively of the total number of RIDDOR reports (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation) made across all forms of manufacturing. Over 13% of all food and beverage sectors are attributable to MSDs. Overall, the food and beverage sector reports an above-average number of workplace injuries, taking health and safety figures.
One could speculate that a fall from a scaffold or a ladder isn’t a matter of if “it will happen”, but when it will happen. However, like many workplace injuries, it’s possible to prevent most falls with the right equipment in place. Furthermore, erecting a scaffold takes time and needs to be put together professionally by the scaffold contractor. It would sometimes need to be moved around, and the contractor would have to come back and affect the change. Sometimes it can take them days or even weeks to be available to visit a plant, so response times are usually poor. Depending on the production level and the available space, there may also not be enough space to set up the scaffolding.
More importantly, hiring a scaffold rig can be a bigger outlay than needed and may soon become a significant annual expense. Unfortunately, most contractors are likely to go for what they know (ladder and scaffolding) rather than looking for workable alternatives that would better serve them and the company.
With that said, are there alternatives to scaffolding that allows plant engineers and other workers to operate at height without compromising on safety? The LOBO System is lightweight and compact, but most significantly, enhances safety by leaps and bounds. So, what is holding back some food and beverage industry businesses from implementing a safer alternative to scaffolding, such as LOBO systems? It is “AWARENESS”
This article will look into LOBO systems as an excellent alternative to scaffolding, the benefits they offer, and how they can help ensure regulatory compliance and improve profit margins in the food and beverage industry. So, let’s get started.
Why choose the LOBO System?
Safety working at height
- One of the most important aspects of working at height is safety. Plant engineers can be raised to precarious heights for more extended periods, increasing their exposure to risks and the chances of falling. Thus, the choice and use of access equipment play a huge role in reducing the dangers associated with falls from height.
- A scaffold that is too tall is more likely to be set up incorrectly and lead to a fall. On the other hand, the LOBO System is amongst the safest and efficient ways to work at height, even in difficult-to-reach spaces. The working platform addresses these potential pitfalls by allowing plant engineers to work as high as 20 feet, which is ample height for reaching almost any job.
- LOBO Systems aims to deliver a working platform that can make a difference to the food and beverage industry’s injury and fatality figures. They have passed the strictest safety legislation standards, earned countless businesses’ trust, and can help the food and beverage sector make safety a priority.
- The platform will provide you with peace of mind knowing that you and your workers are protected, no matter how high they go and regardless of the weather conditions. In addition, it allows plant engineers to work in a standard, natural body position at height – this can help your workforce from a health perspective in terms of looking after their posture and getting the job done without worrying about unnecessary risks.
Time is money. Scaffolding can take days or weeks to be set up and dismantled. In addition, it can be vast and complex, meaning you will have to waste lots of time on erecting and dismantling – which can cause frustration or slow down even at the start of the job. HOWEVER, the LOBO System takes just a relatively short amount of time to be set up and ready for use, thereby reducing the time it takes for most jobs to be completed and with fewer workers when compared with scaffolding.
Cost-saving over traditional scaffolding
The cost-effectiveness of your access tool is one thing to take into consideration. Scaffolding can be an undesirable expense for most businesses. It is down to the costs of setting up the platform, leaving it up in place or dismantling it temporarily, not to mention the human resources that factor in. It means the costs will continue to rise even when no work is being done. The LOBO System will help you save on labour and materials associated with scaffolding or outsourced companies as a cost-effective alternative to scaffolding.
Talk of space management, the LOBO System takes less space than the average scaffolding structure. The visual impact on the environment is significantly reduced because less equipment is required. And once erected, this fantastic work platform is safer to use in high traffic areas without causing any unnecessary obstructions to pedestrians, businesses, or vehicles.
The food and beverage industry is under pressure to ensure a safe and healthy working environment, increase its processing efficiency, and comply with the wishes of consumers who demand more diversified products. As a result, the majority of equipment they use, including the complex ones – ranging from the high-speed conveyors to ovens, coolers, bottling machines, and end-of-line packers requires constant maintenance. Most of these facilities run two or three different products per line per day. The maintenance process may include, among other procedures, frequently access to machines to aid in the flow of products, a quick cleaning between each production run, replacement of parts, getting unstuck machines, eliminating discharges, conducting tests, measurements, repairs, work adjustment, inspections, and detection of faults.
Moreover, as the factories often cannot afford to stop their production for long periods, the maintenance team may have to work every weekend or at night, which can be a big challenge for the maintenance team. Likewise, every time the factory adds another piece of equipment on a production line, which is another potential source for downtime. And the more machines are used in the food production and packaging process, the more a variety of failed mechanisms and risk factors to be addressed – and plant preventative maintenance procedures become exponential. Most importantly, the maintenance of these machineries can pose varying threats to the safety of the workers involved in the process. Their safety risk increases when it is essential to work closely with the equipment and access difficult-to-reach areas.
The LOBO System, however, provide you with a quick fix. This alternative work platform to scaffolding is versatile, lightweight, and maneuverable. It can be assembled quickly and safely around or above machinery or hard-to-reach areas, allowing prompt repair and maintenance access. Whether it is inspections or repairs, this work platform will enable plant engineers and other maintenance workers to safely access areas both in front and above them, preventing them from falling when trying to reach certain heights. As a result, they can perform their work concurrently with production ongoing (where necessary) without introducing contaminations (like bacteria, flakes of rust, random debris, and paint) into the production line. More so, the plant engineers will no longer have to forfeit their safety to get the job done promptly.
Easy to Set up and Use
Scaffolds must be set up correctly to provide a stable framework and prevent collapse underneath the weight of plant engineers, tools, and materials. However, it may leave little room for assembly errors. In addition, hauling materials and tools up and down scaffolds is a dangerous and challenging chore that can increase user fatigue and lead to more slips and falls.
Traditional ladders might be unsuitable for the job and scaffolding would take too long to set up, so the LOBO System remains the best plug. This is because they are superbly easy to set up and maneuver, giving plant engineers even more flexibility to complete their jobs without being restricted. Also, the LOBO system makes it easy to carry heavy tools and even machinery where necessary, and specialist materials can also be taken directly to where they are needed with ease.
LOBO systems allow plant engineers to transport tools and raw materials while at any height easily. This is very beneficial for a smaller team with only one or two plant engineers working in the factory.
Fewer Resources required
The LOBO System can be set up by one person quickly and easily. This is possible due to the module nature construction and the patented LOBAND clamp that allows you to fit round tube to round tube and round tube to square tube either side by side or at right angles, without the need for any tools.
Many operations demand greater stability or a larger working surface than the standard ladder but are not suitable for more scaffolding fixtures. LOBO systems strike a helpful middle ground with flexible configurations that allow for customized solutions for these sorts of jobs.
They offer a lightweight stronghold – a versatile, fast erect anchor points and barrier system designed to lower the need for costly access equipment. You can assemble the work platform into any configuration, shape, or size in a matter of minutes to provide a robust custom working surface adapted for hard-to-reach areas. A significant benefit of this alternative to scaffolding is their ability to work on uneven ground. They can be quickly erected over stairs or split-level floors.
Quick and Easy to Assemble
LOBO can be assembled by virtually anyone in a short period, meaning even the largest towers that go beyond 35 feet can be assembled without fabrication by a single operator in just a matter of hours. The less time plant engineers have to assemble and climb up while carrying tools/supplies and navigating around scaffolding, the more energy and time focused on getting the actual project done.
No tools or equipment are required but include a comprehensive set of instructions about setting up the work platform to guide workers through the assembly process. This minimizes the effort and time needed to put them together without compromising on safety.
Bridge difficult Areas
Inspection and maintenance of plants in a food and beverage industry can be a relatively dangerous task unless steps are taken to protect workers at the factory.
More and more plants are required to be monitored, inspected, and maintained because they can deteriorate quickly and dramatically following regular use. Needless to say, it can be challenging to reach many restricted areas, especially those that are high above the plants.
Safety is one of the top concerns for plant engineers and their team conducting maintenance activities. While bridging can be an effective technique best used to assess hard-to-reach areas, all these maintenance activities also come with risk.
Scaffolding and Aluminium frame systems can be inflexible, cumbersome, and not adjust to fit into awkward areas. In addition, the bigger the footprint of the scaffold, the more significant the trip hazard.
The LOBO System can help you bridge those problematic areas up to 3.6m and to a height of 10m. It is made from durable materials that are highly maneuverable and can efficiently bridge difficult and hard-to-reach areas where scaffolding may be impossible.
Shorter Lead Times and Long Service Life
Due to its high-tech manufacturing process and standardized components, LOBO systems can deliver safety systems to you quicker than ever before, so you can set it up and running faster – to get the job done. In addition, it is expandable, meaning it can be adjusted to suit any project by adding more standard components. Precision manufactured out of steel, LOBO systems are durable and long-lasting, which means fewer maintenance costs over time.
It is critical that the working platform is stable to allow workers to stand on them safely. LOBO systems provide plant engineers with a stable platform to stand on while performing their works and railings to protect them from falling.
You can avoid many fatalities and injuries in the factory with an innovative structure that puts safety first, especially when working at heights. And that’s why you need to be confident that your choice of platform is reliable and secure.
Designed for strength and efficiency, LOBO systems aim to instantly improve operational performance and safety while reducing costs by eliminating the need to use ladders or scaffolding when working at height. This fantastic working platform is versatile and can increase efficiency. In addition, it is cost saving and remains a safe alternative to scaffolds.
What makes the platform unique is the patented clamp that allows the system to be assembled on-site without any tools. It is designed from pre-engineered components and can be assembled safely and easily around or above machinery or restricted access areas by your in‐house maintenance crew once they have been trained. This reduces the hassle and the costs of outsourcing scaffolding labour without compromising safety.
LOBO Systems have now made it easier to access those areas previously considered difficult to reach for maintenance and cleaning purposes. In addition, it is available 24/7 to put you in control of what and when you schedule your maintenance tasks.
Working with LOBO systems may seem expensive compared to other options in the market, but they are worth the value and the ideal solution regarding accessing any height. With so many options available, you can be sure to find something that works for you.
Feel free to talk to LOBO Systems to see how these alternatives to scaffolding can work for you. We are more than happy to help. You can call us on (number) or email (email) to book our services or find out more.