Make a Stand for Safety: How Work Platforms Serve Work at Height Pharmaceutical Operations

Make a Stand for Safety: How Work Platforms Serve Work at Height Pharmaceutical Operations

In pharmaceutical production facilities, accessing elevated or confined areas such as storage rooms, tanks, and large pressure vessels can create hazardous conditions. If the risk of falling cannot be eliminated, OSHA recommends installing platforms and guardrails as the most effective solution to protect workers who are working at heights.

Depending on the size of the operation, some types of processing and packing equipment will require work at height or for tasks to be conducted within confined spaces. For example, it is common to find safe access platforms, work stands, and railing systems providing fall protection and safety barriers to workers loading, unloading, cleaning, repairing, and maintaining large agitators, boilers, chillers, ovens, heat exchanges, and cooling towers.

This article examines how elevated work platforms and safe access enables safe and productive work in these specialized facilities where a heightened sense of caution and strict control measures are commonplace.

Stand Up for Safety

Pharmaceutical manufacturers often deal with delicate equipment, intricate machinery, and sensitive substances that require meticulous handling. Any compromise in safety at work at height can lead to severe consequences, including contamination, compromised product quality, and potential harm to workers. Prioritizing work at height safety is a proactive measure to safeguard the integrity of pharmaceutical processes and the workforce’s well-being.

Be Aware…Take Care

Working at height is defined as work in any place where, if no precautions were taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. The safe ceiling set for general industry is four feet, and in construction, any work over six feet requires personal fall protection systems. The performance of work at an elevated height is one of the biggest causes of preventable work injuries and fatalities.

If it’s Predictable it’s Preventable

Employers must set up the workplace to prevent employees from falling off overhead platforms, elevated workstations, or into holes in the floor and walls. OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces. In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance.

Measures should be taken to avoid exposure to the risk of a fall hazard, such as eliminating the work task, substituting a safer alternative to performing the task or using safe access/fall protection systems to minimize or eliminate the risk of falling.

Types of Elevated Platforms

Maintenance platforms increase productivity and safety at every stage of work within a pharmaceutical operation, from production to distribution. Whether crossover platforms are required inside the plant or access at height is needed for bulk loading on the dock, stable, purpose-built elevated platforms are desired over ladders and scaffolding. There are generally two main types of platforms engineered fixed and modular mobile platforms.

1.   Engineered Fixed Work Platforms

Fixed Work Platforms are more stable than traditional or portable access platforms when regular acces to elevated tasks is required. Plus, they are designed with guardrails, toe-boards, and other safety features that reduce the risk of accidents and injuries for workers at elevated heights. These engineered platforms are meticulously crafted to fit the unique requirements of manufacturing equipment.

2.   Modular Mobile Platforms

Modular Mobile Platforms offer a flexible and scalable approach to work-at-height safety. When manufacturing environments undergo changes and adaptations in response to evolving industry demands, modular platforms adapt seamlessly to these changes, providing a versatile solution that can be easily reconfigured or expanded.

Take Safety to New Heights

Ensuring work at height safety in any industry, including pharmaceutical manufacturing, yields a spectrum of invaluable benefits that extend beyond mere compliance. Here are key advantages that underscore the critical importance of prioritizing safety at elevated workspaces:

  • Protecting Workforce Integrity: By implementing robust safety measures, businesses safeguard their workforce’s physical well-being and health, fostering a positive and resilient work environment.
  • Minimizing Operational Disruptions: Work at height safety measures, such as Engineered Platforms and Modular Platforms, significantly reduce the risk of accidents, ensuring uninterrupted operations and minimizing downtime.
  • Enhancing Product Quality: A safe working environment promotes meticulous attention to detail, reduces the likelihood of errors and contamination, and ultimately preserves the integrity and quality of pharmaceutical products.
  • Compliance Assurance: Adhering to safety standards protects workers and ensures compliance with industry regulations, preventing legal repercussions and maintaining a positive reputation.
  • Boosting Efficiency: Work-at-height safety solutions are designed for precision and efficiency, allowing workers to focus on tasks without concerns about personal safety, thereby enhancing overall operational efficiency.


Safety Begins with Teamwork

FlexDecks is a trusted partner for those in need of advanced solutions for work-at-height safety. Since its establishment in 1989, FlexDecks has been guided by the philosophy that “Know Safety No Pain.” The company has built a strong reputation for safety, quality, and cost-effective approaches, ensuring that the job is done right the first time, regardless of complexity. FlexDecks specialists, engineers, and assemblers have the professional experience, tools, and equipment to guarantee that maintenance stands are assembled efficiently and on time with minimal disruption to your operations. With an elevated work platform from FlexDecks, you can maintain the highest levels of precision, quality, and safety standards. Contact a platform engineer today.