A Beginner’s Guide to Staying Safe While Operating Aerial Lifts

9 min read
Operating Aerial Lifts

Scaffolding may not be the right equipment for all worksites, making it difficult for personnel to reach far heights and complete critical work. However, aerial lifts can come in exceptionally handy in such situations. Also called boom lifts, these are vehicle-mounted gear incorporating an extendable platform that can elevate workers up to a job site.

First-time users must know some pivotal aerial lift safety tips aerial lift safety tips as this machinery can be daunting and challenging to operate initially. Moreover, given the size and intimidating structure of the apparatus, it can pose a substantial risk if mishandled.

So, although the operators are trained, they need to follow all the essential security protocols and guidelines to remain safe.

You can refer to the following list of top tips to keep you protected when working with a boom lift.

Aerial Lifts

Use a safety checklist

The very purpose of a safety checklist is to ensure all machine components are working accurately, minimizing the risk of accidents and falls. Invariably, train your operators to start by verifying the operational condition of the vehicle itself and check its fluid levels, steering, battery, brakes, tires, charger, and lower-level controls. You should also ensure that warning systems such as the horns, lights, gauges, and backup alarms are functional.

Once the vehicle inspection is complete, ensure your personnels check the vital lift components such as the operating control, protection devices like guardrails, insulation capacity, locking pins, etc. The proper functioning of the pneumatic, air, electrical, and hydraulic systems is imperative for smooth operation.

Aerial Lifts

Inspect the job site

A risk-free job zone is as crucial as a high-quality boom lift for optimal worker safety. So, regardless of where you are using the machinery, ensure the surroundings are safe for the operators and other workers. For instance, check the floor stability, walls, ceilings, and other potential dangers when working indoors.

When working the lift outdoors, have your personnel inspect the area for debris, unexpected ditches, gaping holes, and uneven surfaces that may cause obstructions during the work. If there are cables overhead, ensure to keep the machine at a safe distance from them, even if the power is turned off for the job.

Also, think twice before working in potentially hazardous weather conditions such as heavy rain or high winds that may cause the electrical wires to sway or snap unexpectedly.

Never use the machinery without proper safety gear

Research is underway to gauge the safety of scissor lifts and boom lifts to ensure these machines are safe for all workers to use. Experts are looking at how to change the equipment to make it more secure for operators and other people on the job site.

But the most critical rule to operating a boom lift securely is always to wear a safety harness and attach it to the bucket. Without this, the chances of accidental falls and slips increase, threatening to injure operators severely. So, even if it is unlikely that someone may fall off the platform, they may suddenly lose balance if the vehicle runs over a bump or other uneven surfaces.

Furthermore, if a worker climbs over to the platform’s edge to reach for something, they may sustain grave injuries if they fall without protection. Keeping the access gates shut is also advisable to prevent them from accidentally falling off the platform.

Aerial Lifts

Use the device correctly

Safely operating an aerial lift requires a little practice, but people can learn to do it efficiently with expert guidance and training. However, there are specific things that machine operatives must never forget for optimal safety, and these include the following.

Never exceed the lift’s load capacity or weight limit as it increases the chances of tipping over.
Always use the equipment on level ground for more excellent stability and security.
Avoid climbing out and sitting on the platform edges.
Do not carry objects larger and heavier than the platform.
Never work the machine in high winds, especially around live power lines.
You must not drive the lift with the platform raised high above the ground.

Ensure the operators are certified and trained

One of the most foolproof and preventive aerial lift safety tips is to disallow anyone untrained from working the machine. If you trust folks with little to no knowledge about the vehicle to run it, they may inadvertently cause accidents that could lead to grave injury or even death.

Therefore, ensure all your workers enroll in a high-quality training program to understand the nuances of operating a boom lift machine while following all the essential safety protocols. Ideally, you should choose a reliable program that follows OSHA guidelines and can be done remotely over the internet.

This way, your employees learn to operate dangerous machinery and earn legitimate certification with ease while saving time and money.

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