News 29 January 2019

The next step in working safely and ergonomically

Working safely always begins with solid and reliable access equipment

For more than 70 years, Altrex has been designing and manufacturing access equipment that you can rely on. Securing safety is our starting point. Moreover, we consider safety our responsibility, just like the health of everyone who uses our products daily. With Ergo360, we are taking the next step in working safely and in good health.

Working safely always begins with solid and reliable access equipment. According to us, this is also entirely related to awareness during work with health in mind. “Accidents in the construction sector are still very common,” says Jan Keizer, director of Altrex. “The largest share of these is related to falling. In addition, overtaxing the body is one of the most significant reasons for lost working days. We must and we can do something about this. With Ergo360 we focus our attention to safety and ergonomics; we create awareness on the work floor. That way we take the next step in our role in working safely at heights.”

Ergo360, the first selection

Part of Ergo360 is developing access equipment that meets the highest standards in the field of safety and ergonomics. These are legal requirements as well as Altrex's even stricter requirements. “With Ergo360, we set a new norm for ourselves and for the market,” adds Keizer. “We show everyone that things can be done differently; smarter, safer and healthier. In every respect, Ergo360 qualified access equipment is a step higher in working safely and with awareness.”

The Ergo360 line consists of four products that are examples of the Altrex vision on safety and ergonomics at work: the RS TOWER 5-S rolling tower with the Fiber-Deck® platform and the Safe-Quick® 2, the MiTOWER and the Eifel platform ladder. “Our complete product range obviously meets all requirements. The Altrex standard is high,” says Maarten Hogervorst, manager of Marketing & Development at Altrex. “The products that were the first to receive the Ergo360 label are considered striking examples of the best in safety, ergonomics and ease of use. This is our opinion and the opinion of parties that collaborate with us on Ergo360. For example, a Fiber-Deck® platform weighs 17.5 kg; that is considerable under the standard for physical load of 23 kg. That is of course much friendlier for the body.”

“Things can be done differently; smarter, safer and more ergonomically. The Ergo360 enables all this”

Collaboration on improved work

For the purpose of development, we have entered into a collaboration framework with two independent parties: A3-A and STEP Nederland. “Altrex has a keen eye for safety and ergonomics, but we want to be 100% certain that our views and choices are really correct,” explains Hogervorst. “As a user, you must have blind trust in our access equipment. That is why we recruit external knowledge; independent parties who use their expertise to examine, test and assess our Ergo360 access equipment.”

One of our partners in safety is Adri Frijters of A3-A. In addition to his consultancy work, he is a member of the Labour Policy Commission of the NEN and the VCA Central Examinations Committee. He has worked regularly with Altrex for more than 15 years. “Working safely and ergonomically is something that you have to learn. It is easy and fast to work unsafely and it is difficult to break routines. Therefore, working safely is also a combination of raising awareness, working consciously, and equipment that enables you to work in a safe and healthy manner. This combination is what we translate into Ergo360.”

Due to its specific knowledge, STEP Nederland was asked to collaborate on Ergo360. The work of this company includes research on the work floor into both technical and human ergonomics (editor human ergonomics: learning safe and healthy movement behaviour). Using various measuring instruments, they are able get an actual picture of how ergonomic our access equipment actually is). Consider for example the physical workload and the posture of muscles and joints while setting up a rolling tower, lifting platforms and climbing ladders.

“Working safely is a combination of raising awareness and equipment that enables you to work in a safe and healthy manner”

Independent and honest

“Altrex has asked us to test and assess the Ergo360 access equipment,” tells Henk Jan Kooke, director of STEP Nederland. “This means that we examine the legal norms and guidelines and certainly the physical workload and ease of use from our perspective. Health is hereby a priority; that is our benchmark. Ergo360 equipment properly meets the set norms and the requirements that we set. Using our measuring tools, we can reveal this and assess it in an independent, objective and honest manner.”

During testing, we examine the impact of the access equipment during normal use, such as constructing and dismantling the equipment. “We use sensors to measure how high above his head a person is lifting or how much he needs to bend his back or knees,” says René Rietveld, Consultant and Instructor at STEP. “In the case of the Safe-Quick® 2 for example, the load is minimal. Of course, we also evaluate such issues as ease of use and stability. The sum of all these factors makes the Safe-Quick® 2 pre-eminently an Ergo360 product. It is especially true because you can construct this rolling tower in only one correct and safe way. That is precisely how Altrex determines the new norm and thereby makes a difference.”


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