How To Stay Safe While Using Boom Lifts

Choosing the best boom lift for your project is not the only thing to consider before the work starts. Even the most experienced boom lift operators can’t keep the workers safe when they are doing their job at heights.
While such experts as window cleaners and painters get special training for working on high-rise buildings, not many of them realize that exploiting a boom lift requires extra caution.
There are two common types of boom lifts used today: telescopic and articulating. Both of them have similar working principles. The former can extend it’s “arm” up to 120 feet at virtually all angles. The latter has several sections, which help with getting to hard-to-reach places.
No matter which type of boom lift you choose, each type is considered heavy equipment, which requires special attention and intensified safety measures.
Common Safety Issues While Using Boom Lifts
The most common boom lift-related safety issues have to do with electrocution, falls, and overturned equipment. The reasons range from choosing the wrong equipment for the job to lack of experience and/or attention.
11 Tips To Keep You Safe On A Boom Lift
1. If you see that the boom lift seems to be malfunctioning or slightly damaged, avoid using it and let the operator know about your suspicions.
2. Don’t avoid wearing the necessary protective gear, such as hard hats, steel-toe boots, safety glasses, and gloves.
3. Always ask the operator to test the aerial lift before starting the operation. Make sure it’s in a working condition.
4. While working on the boom lift, make sure your feet are always firmly planted on the platform. Keep your balance at all times.
5. When the boom lift is raising or lowering the platform, be extra careful. Make sure you can take hold of the railing.
6. Consider refusing to use a boom lift when the weather conditions are unfavorable, such as strong winds and heavy rains.
7. Don’t use the boom lift as a lifting device. Never use any heavy machinery for the purposes it’s not designed for.
8. Don’t take ladders, scaffolding, chairs or any other tools to help you gain extra height when on a boom lift platform.
9. Don’t try to sit on the edge of an elevated platform.
10. Always pay attention to the area around you. The path of travel is not always safe due to obstacles, debris, holes, etc. Pay close attention to overhead hazards.
11. Be extra careful about watching the power lines.

5 Safety Tips For High-Rise Building Workers

High-rise buildings require just as much, if not more, maintenance as 2-story residential houses. Window washing, inspections, repairs, and banner replacement call for special training and equipment. Meanwhile, safety is the most important part of any work with high-rise buildings.

Working at height is risky. No matter how well you choose your gear, a small mistake can lead to unfortunate consequences. These safety tips can help you avoid accidents.

  1. Ask For Advice

No matter how experienced you are, there are always other people, who know better. This is especially true for equipment operators. If you are using a truck-mounted access platform or a BMU, operating takes experience. Ask the operators for advice and closely collaborate with them in order to avoid mistakes.

  1. Always Have A Plan

Whether you are working with one partner or a team, you have to study the emergency plan closely. Know exactly what needs to be done in case of an accident and/or equipment malfunctioning. If something seems wrong, stop. Botched deadlines aren’t worth your life.

  1. Bring A Friend

Working on high-rise buildings should never be done without a partner. When at least two people are working together, the risks of an accident are decreased. Even if you have impressive experience working with ladders and safety equipment, doing it alone is irresponsible. Even the most experienced workers may suffer from dizziness when working at height.

  1. Study The Safety Guidelines

Safety guidelines for working at height change on a regular basis. If you haven’t gone over them in more than a year, it’s time to do it.

  1. Select The Right Equipment

Each project requires an individual approach. The variety of equipment to work with is numerous as well. In some cases, scaffolding can be too expensive and useless compared to the rope descent system. In other cases, it can be the only suitable option.

BMUs, access platforms, aerial lifts, etc. provide extra safety but come with a higher price tag. Match the situation to the right equipment for improving results and reducing the risks.


5 Benefits Of Truck Mounted Access Platforms

When choosing equipment for working with heights, a small mistake can lead to delays and safety hazards. While the quality of such equipment should be top-notch, the type of the machine is just as important.

Whether you are planning repairing, cleaning or maintenance jobs, we suggest considering truck-mounted access platforms. They have numerous advantages over ladders and ropes regardless of the project’s complexity. These access platforms are suitable for both commercial and residential projects.

  1. Impressive Durability

Access platforms are very durable. When you are standing on a ladder or hanging from a rope, you feel a little shaky regardless of your experience with heights. Meanwhile, being a little unsure of your footing can reduce the speed of your work. Using a sturdy platform can help you get the job done faster while enjoying a peace of mind.

  1. Using Both Hands

Whenever you are working with ladders or rope descent systems, you need one hand to guide and steady yourself. This reduces the quality and speed of your work. You are also limited when it comes to taking the necessary tools with you. Truck mounted access platforms allow you to use both hands and take advantage of as many accessories as you can bring.

  1. Taking On Tough Projects

When you are working in uncomfortable conditions, such as balancing on a ladder or hanging from a rope, you tire much faster. By climbing a truck-mounted access platform, you are allowing yourself to work in a safe and comfortable environment. This improves the quality of your work and allows you to work longer. You can change the position you are working in and avoid cramps.

  1. Feeling Safe

Working at heights involves following a variety of strict rules. Any project you take on at a height is risky. It can result in falls, injuries, and even death. Any job you need to do at a height bigger than one story is safer with a truck mounted access platform. Besides, when you hire such a platform, you can take advantage of advice from an experienced operator.

  1. Closer Access

Truck-mounted access platforms allow you to get close access to hard-to-reach spaces. They work in the areas where rope descent systems just aren’t effective, and ladders are out of the question.

Taking advantage of access platforms can improve the quality of your work, reduce risks, and help you meet deadlines.


Important Information About Boom Lifts: Which One Would You Choose?

Boom lifts are common pieces of equipment that can make your work at heights simpler. The large boom arm with an extendable basket helps you reach the places you wouldn’t be able to touch with other equipment. At the same time, boom lifts are very safe (if used right of course), but you would need a professional boom lift operator to get the job done.
The main advantage of the boom lifts is their versatility. While other lifting equipment, such as scissor lifts may serve a certain purpose, these aerial lifts are suitable for a variety of jobs. What can you use boom lifts for?
• Tall tree fruit picking and branch cutting
• Painting, window washing, façade maintenance
• Powerline repair
• Billboard replacement, installation
• Construction projects
The operator has full control of the equipment. The lift can be moved forward and backward while adjusting the arm’s height. The basket’s position can also be changed.
A boom lift is a reliable machine. It has stabilizer legs and safety controls that prevent the equipment from tipping over even if the operator makes a mistake. Such lifts come in several sizes. Smaller equipment can be used to work in hard-to-reach places.
What Type Of Boom Lift Do You Need?
There are two types of aerial lifts, telescoping and articulating.
1. Articulating Boom Lift
This is an aerial platform with several boom sections that move (or articulate) to help you access hard-to-reach areas or avoid obstacles.
• If you need to work in a confined area, articulating boom lift is a great choice. They come in small models that can move around in tight spaces.
• If you have to surpass obstacles (i.e. reach up an over something), the articulating models can do the job quickly and effortless.
• If you need to work indoors, you can opt for an articulating boom lift with non-marking tires.
• If you have to move over a rough terrain, these lifts come in rough-terrain models.
2. Telescopic Boom Lift
The boom section of this aerial platform extends telescopically. They provide excellent horizontal reaching options. Telescopic boom lifts are great for spaces with limited access. Why would you choose a telescopic boom lift over an articulating boom lift?
• You need to reach very far at a big height
• You need to work on a very rough terrain with obstacles
• You need to work fast (these lifts can get into a working position quickly).

Painting At Heights: What You Need To Know

New York companies often face a problem with painting at heights. Most building owners believe that they can deal with the task without renting special equipment. The approach to working at heights should be well thought out and reviewed many times. The number of deaths and injuries associated with painting or washing skyscrapers is downright scary. Here are a few important things you need to know about painting at height.

  1. Working Out A Safe Approach

Most painting companies have a worked out approach to working at heights. Meanwhile, companies that don’t specialize in working with high buildings may overlook the matter. Each company or team must evaluated each object, identify the hazards, and work out a safe approach.

  1. Renting/Buying The Right Equipment

The right equipment is a key to staying safe and doing the job better and faster. Proper aerial equipment reduces the number of hazards people face when working at heights. While evaluating the object, consider making the equipment list.

Renting machines and lifts in NY is easy. At Alpha Platforms, we have a big choice of equipment for working at heights. Our experts can help you identify which machines you need for the job.

  1. Edge Protection Guidelines

Coming up with edge protection guidelines is vital for preventing people and tools from falling out of the lifting equipment. Many workers get so involved in the working process, they forget about being high up. Each employee must read the information about edge protection and learn how to use scaffolding, stools, podiums, platforms, etc. safely.

  1. Updated Restraint Systems

Even if the equipment you use is absolutely safe, restraint systems are compulsory for any work at heights. Even the best restraint system is useless without proper training. These systems are being perfected on a regular basis, so the company should consider investing in the latest solutions.

  1. Roof Work Safety Guidelines

Working on the roof is one of the most dangerous tasks for many maintenance companies. The lifting equipment can get you up there but it can’t keep you safe. Roof work safety guidelines must include edge protection and fall hazard prevention.


To Rent Or Not To Rent: That Is The Question

Aerial equipment is expensive. When it comes to renting it for several projects, many companies start thinking about the purchase. It seems as if frequent use will recoup the cost of the unit. However, before making a decision to buy such piece of equipment, it’s vital to know all the ins and outs of the ownership. Here are a few points you may want to consider before saying “no” to renting.
1. Proper Maintenance
As an owner, you’ll be responsible for proper maintenance of your equipment. Repairing and maintaining aerial platforms and lifts can be rather costly. If you rent, the rental company covers these costs.
2. Storage
When not in use, these machines require large spaces for storage. You’d need to rent or buy a storage facility. You’ll also need to find a way to transport the machine from storage to work sites and back. When you rent such equipment, you don’t need to worry about storage and transportation.
3. ANSI Standards
As an owner, you need to think about the way your equipment complies with ANSI standards. This means following the news to learn about the updated requirements and order timely inspections. If you rent the platform or lift, all the compliance issues are the owner’s problem.
4. Lack of Choice
When you invest money in such a piece of equipment, you are “stuck” with it for a long time. What happens if your projects require more than one type of aerial lifts? What happens if you don’t need the machine anymore? You’d need to find a way to sell or put it up for rent.
5. Idle Time
In case your machine breaks down and you need time to fix it, your project could be put on hold. Besides spending money on repairs, you’d be losing more by stalling the project.
6. Depreciation
Over time, all equipment loses value regardless of how well you maintain it. New models appear on the market. Projects require more speed and higher sophistication.  Your equipment may become outdated and you’ll be stuck with a piece of useless machinery, which is impossible to sell.
Owning aerial lifts and platforms has many hidden costs. In most cases, rental is the smartest option.

The Advantages Of Renting A Spider Lift

When you are thinking about renting lifting equipment for your business, be it painting, window washing, repairing or something else, you face a wide choice. When you have a complicated lifting problem to solve, such as tight spaces or indoor spots, a spider lift is a wonderful option.
The reason why these platforms are called spider lifts is it’s extendable legs, which are used for stabilization. These hinged legs help the machine stand in a variety of positions and on different levels while improving weight distribution. The legs give this equipment a spider-like appearance.
Not too many access platforms, other than spider lifts, can work on rough terrain as well as fragile floors. Coupled with the ability to reach impressive heights, this piece of equipment is often a top choice for a big variety of projects. Here are a few more advantages of renting spider lifts.
1. Compact Design
Spider lifts are fairly small and slim, which allows them to work in tight spots. They can easily fit into a doorway. This compact design is also very useful for work on narrow streets, yards, and hangars.
2. Light Weight
The spider lift is designed to spread the weight over a wide area, making it a perfect equipment to work on fragile floors and indoor environments. The areas, which can’t bear heavy machines, usually don’t have problems with spider lifts.
3. Indoor Work
Thanks to their light weight, compact size, and maneuverability, spider lifts are ideal for indoor projects that require lifting. The spider lift’s motor is rather quiet so it doesn’t sound disturbing in an indoor environment.
4. Mobility
Spider lifts are highly mobile. They can easily be transported on a trailer and towed. Some models can even be loaded onto a truck. These platforms are equipped with tracks, which easily endure common types of terrain.
5. Ease Of Use
Spider lifts are easy to transport and install on the spot.  This equipment is easier to use than heavier machinery. Such lifts require less labor than similar equipment.

Window Cleaning In The Cold

The winter is here and many people are wondering if window cleaners keep doing their job when it’s freezing outside. At Alpha Platforms, we are always glad to get the job done regardless of the weather. Our general rule is that we can clean a window unless the temperature is lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
If most homeowners plan seasonal window cleanings and get them done in the fall, commercial building owners have a tougher job cut out for them. Storefronts and facades often get dirty in the winter due to melting snow and hard water stains. Some of our clients require winter window cleaning before special occasions, presentations, and other events.
Special Cleaning Agents
We prepare special window cleaning solutions that contain non-freezing elements similar to windshield washers to keep the water from freezing. We try to use the minimal amount in order not to harm the environment. If for some reason we face a frozen window, we are always ready to conquer it with special razor blades and scrapers.
Warm Employee Uniform
All our employees have high-quality winter suits in order to keep them warm at the freezing temperatures. They wear comfortable gloves that make it easy to handle the equipment while keeping the hands warm.
Delicate Planning
Since the winter days in New York are rather short, we have to do some special planning for winter cleanings. The windows shouldn’t be cleaned with the sun shining directly on them. Accordingly, the cleaning sessions are moved around to accommodate each client depending on which side his or her windows are facing. Winter window washing requires a substantial amount of logistics.
Equipment Tuning
During the winter, the rubber grip handles of most squeegees become useless. The rubber freezes and slips. That’s why we purchase special grips to wrap around the squeegee handle. We also invest in safer ladders that feature grip feed thread on each step.
We know the importance of keeping the windows clean all year round so we are ready to do it in any season!


6 Tips For Commercial Window Cleaners

Cleaning office building and shop windows is a compulsory task. Avoiding just one cleaning session can lead to the loss of curb appeal and decrease of profits. Professional commercial window cleaners have many tricks up their sleeves. If you are a beginner, we will gladly share them with you.

1. Don’t Overlook A Sea Sponge
Sea sponges are just as important for window cleaning as squeegees. You can pick up residual water from the frames and the window after squeegeeing. The wet sponge can be used to clean dirty frames and the squeegee blade.
2. Make Frequent Stops
After you swipe a squeegee against the glass, make a short stop. Waiting just 2 seconds allows the water to drip from the blade. You can also use a dry sea sponge to remove the water. If the drops stay, you may accidently shake them onto the glass during the next pass.
3. Invest In Ladder Leveler
This simple tool allows you to keep the ladder straight when working on an uneven surface. A small investment can keep you safe when you are up high.
4. Get A Small Squeegee
One large squeegee is enough for a great window cleaning session. However, if you carry the second squeegee, you can do your job faster. A small squeegee can be used to pick up residual drops left by a larger one. This way you save on using paper towels or microfiber cloths.
5. Ask For A Clear Window
When taking an order for a window cleaning session, ask the customers to clear the access to the window. If, when you come, there is still some furniture blocking your way, ask for help to move it. Don’t try to move heavy objects on your own. It’s not part of your job.
6. Don’t Use Too Much Detergent
The beauty of modern windows is that they are easy to clean. Most of them can be washed without any cleaning agents. Don’t use too much soap or other solutions. Keep them to a minimum unless the windows haven’t been washed for years. You’ll use up too much water and time trying to get rid of the soap.


Improving Stadium & Arena Maintenance

New York is no stranger to stadiums, theaters, and arenas; unfortunately, many of these buildings are in far worse shape than fans would like to see. We’ve all been in a local venue that has cracking seats, busted bathrooms, and looks like a shabby shadow of a once grander time, and, alarmingly, these are just the ground-level problems; what is hiding up in the rafters and behind the walls in many NYC arenas would likely be enough to scare fans away entirely.

Developing & Executing Maintenance Plans

Hired Professional

If you don’t have a dedicated role for heading up maintenance and facilities in your venue, then it is only a matter of time before problems pop up and people stop coming in. It is crucial that your facility have a full or part-time individual that is focused on overseeing maintenance work to the building well above whatever city statutes you have to abide by. This position should not be considered a janitorial position, but rather a customer service and public relations role; your building speaks volumes for the quality of entertainment, safety, and fan-focus that it takes to succeed as a venue in The Big Apple.

stadium Improving Stadium & Arena MaintenanceProactive vs Reactive

It is crucial that, together with your maintenance professional, you draft and attack proactive maintenance goals that get out in front of problems. By staying ahead of the curve with the issues that are sure to plague your facility, you minimize the costs and impacts to your business. For instance, if an electrical short causes lighting crucial to a show or event to fail you when it was needed most, it’s going to cost you an untold fortune in reputation and returned ticket sales; by instead dealing with the problem when the venue is empty, you avoid emergency electrician costs, don’t disrupt the show, and encounter far less stress. Remember, when it comes to your venue, to always assume that whatever can go wrong will do so at the most inopportune moment.

Think Beyond Ground-Level

While upgrading your seats may be popular with fans and guests of your venue, it is far more important that the ceiling and equipment well above their heads is safely working. By using a boom lift to access the taller elements of your stadium, arena, or theater, your maintenance staff and contractors can perform aerial maintenance almost as if it were on the ground. Rent a boom lift to repair or upgrade stadium lighting, scoreboards, catwalks, and even the exterior of the building. While this may not seem like the flashiest use of a maintenance budget, having a safely working venue will pay off far more in the long run than ground-level upgrades.

Contact Alpha Platforms Today

Get in touch with Alpha Platforms for the highest quality aerial lift rentals in New York City. Our aerial work platforms come with a skilled operator to assist with the task at hand and ensure that your heights are safely and effectively accessed. Learn more about the Alpha Platforms difference for yourself today!

Contact us to learn more or schedule your lift rental today!