Top 5 Aerial Lift Operational Safety Tips for Employees

Aerial lifts are vehicles with mounted platforms that help reach elevated work sites. These vehicles are excellent for their assistance in construction sites, manufacturing industry, entertainment industry, etc. These are perfect for those sites where scaffolding machines aren’t the most suitable option to reach high-rise spots. 

Compliance with safety and training regulations is extremely important for companies that need aerial lift operations. That is why companies must only hire aerial lift OSHA-certified workers. Untrained workers and aerial lift operators pose a big threat to their and the lives of other workers or pedestrians. 

Untrained aerial lift workers bring around 26 deaths every year due to negligence or unawareness of the rules and guidelines. OSHA states at least 10 deaths and more than 20 severe injuries were caused by the mishandling of aerial lifts. These deaths comprise around 2-3% of all construction-site death cases.

Therefore, training is a must for aerial lift operations. These are some safety tips the recruiting companies and their recruited workers should keep in mind while operating aerial lift projects.

Verify that Employees are Trained and Certified

Companies need to comply with OSHA guidelines where no untrained workers can be recruited to operate aerial lifts. That is why companies must verify whether their employees have valid training certificates. They must also be familiar with the guidelines on how to operate different lifts. 

However, not all companies have the budget to train their workers adequately. For these companies, there are online training and certification firms. They help contractors, and small businesses train and certify their employees to prevent workplace injuries or fatalities.

Inspect the Vehicle Before Work

Before starting a day’s work, one must inspect every inch of the lift. This is a crucial part that every aerial lift operator and worker must follow. Workers can start checking the fluid levels, including the hydraulic fuel, coolant, oil, and so on. Besides that, they should also check if the charger, wheels, tires, lights, emergency alarms, and other peripheral things are working and in good condition. 

Check if there are any missing parts, loose parts, or incoherent instructions on the vehicle. Also, workers should check whether the different systems function correctly within the lift. Replace and fix everything before the team gets up on the aerial platform, and the lift starts to work.

Inspect the Area Around the Worksite

Besides checking the vehicle, it is also equally vital to do certain checks on the worksite area. This is important because of the safety of the aerial lift vehicle and those working on and around it. Here are some of the things workers and operators should remember –

  • Ensure that the ceiling or overhead height is higher than the aerial lift’s height. 
  • Examine and check whether the surrounding area has any bumps, cracks, potholes, or anything else that can make the aerial lift lose its balance.
  • Cautiously observe if any low-lying electrical or telecommunication cables are hanging near the aerial lift.
  • Check weather conditions and strictly avoid working during weather calamities to avoid accidents.

These ensure that employees take the best safety precautions to avoid any unfortunate incidents while at work.

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings Always

While positioning aerial lifts, the team must ensure that the high area has no hanging wires, cables, or electrical lines. This is especially important for those workers who need to work in close proximity to wires, cables, and electric lines. Besides being aware of the surroundings, employees working on aerial lifts should always consider all wires energized, even if they are insulated. Also, moving any closer to wires than a 10-feet distance is a complete no.

Entirely Refrain from Doing Unconventional Things

The training courses make employees aware of certain dos and don’ts. While most workers understand the dos, they easily ignore some don’ts. Some of these are –

  • Workers on aerial lifts must have a clear idea of the platform’s average weight-holding capacity. Under no circumstances should they even add half a pound more than the maximum limits.
  • Calculate the combined weight of everything that is supposed to be stationed on the aerial platform while working. Its total should strictly be under the maximum weight limits.
  • Not adhering to those instructed weight limits will result in toppling over.
  • Workers are never allowed to lean, sit or stand on the guardrails on the aerial platform. Even though they are robust, they are not meant to withstand such use.

Final Words

Workers and lift operators who aren’t aerial lift OSHA certified must not be accepted by any company for any aerial operation project. It is for the safety of everyone that these training courses have become so demanding.

Also Read: Importance of Commercial Roof Uplifting Testing

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