The term "platform" can be misleading. It refers to equipment which allows a fork lift truck to be used to raise one or more people to a working position, so that an urgent essential task can be carried out in relative safety. The law forbids the use of pallets, skips or stillages - or any improvised device - as platforms to lift people.
Under certain exceptional circumstances a purpose-built platform may be used. This will be a specially designed item from a manufacturer of specialist attachments. It will always have sides, to contain the worker safely, and it must be provided with a number of other safety devices specified by law. However, even the safest of purpose-built platforms cannot be used legally for routine tasks, including:
A working platform can be used for the occasional "one off" emergency tasks such as:
Note that there is an HSE guidance note on the use of safety cages which can be downloaded here.
You can download the 2005 Working at height regulations from here.
Feb 2014. The HSE have simplified the working at height regulations. You can get more information and download a brief guide here.