Industrial, retail, and commercial businesses often have unused overhead areas that are ideal for storage and similar uses; however, this will require structures to be erected, so those areas can be utilized effectively. The answer to this is sometimes having mezzanines and platform systems placed in a way that provides mobility for workers and storage areas in places that would be nothing more than wasted space otherwise.
Before you purchase a platform mezzanine system for your business, you need to understand how to use this safely. Remembering these points may help you to put the system to good use without any added danger for your employees.
Know load limits
The load limits are the primary concern for any platform or mezzanine because this dictates how much you can store on them before there’s a risk of collapse. Remember that you must add in the weight of any employees that might access the space at the same time. Ideally, you’ll be able to leave some leeway in this figure, so the total weight on the area isn’t ever even close to the limit.
Ensure safe barriers
Every platform and mezzanine must have adequate barriers and guardrails to ensure people don’t fall off the elevated surface. These must be at least 42 inches high and should be able to withstand at least 200 pounds of pressure when applied right at the top edge of the platform.
Ideally, you’ll have something set up that restricts access to the platform-mezzanine area. You don’t want customers or clients to venture up in this area, so you may consider making the stairs that lead to the platform access controlled with a key or digital method. You may also have to limit certain employees from accessing these areas, such as individuals who are mobility challenged in a way that makes it unsafe for them to climb the stairs.
Safety markings and lighting
Poor lighting can lead to trips, falls, and slips, so it’s critical that every inch of these areas is well illuminated. Having emergency lighting installed is a good idea, so there will still be adequate lighting if the power goes out. Additionally, install signage that indicates specific hazards, such as changes in floor elevation or a specific risk of items falling overhead.
Inspect the space
Always inspect the platforms and mezzanine spaces to ensure everything is in good condition. This includes checking the structure itself, as well as any items stored here. Keeping everything neat and organized can help to prevent other accidents from occurring.