Aerial Lift Safety

What is an aerial lift?

An aerial lift is a vehicle mounted device used to elevate personnel. Examples include extendable boom platforms, aerial ladders, articulating boom platforms and vertical towers. Aerial lifts have replaced ladders and scaffolds on many sites due to their mobility and flexibility. Aerial lifts may be constructed out of metal fiberglass, reinforced plastic or other materials; and they may be powered by combustion engines, electric motors or manually. Many workers are killed every year using these lifts.

What hazards are associated with aerial lifts?

All types of hazards exist while operating or working near aerial lifts. A few of these hazards are:

1.    Falls from elevated levels

2.    Objects falling from lifts

3.    Tip overs

4.    Ejections from lift platforms

5.    Structural failures(collapses)

6.    Electric shock(electrocutions)

7.    Entanglement hazards

8.    Contact with objects

9.    Contact with ceilings and other overhead objects

What controls may be used to protect yourself from aerial lift hazards?

1.    Ensure you are trained prior to using aerial lifts

2.    Ensure you arere-trained whenever a different aerial lift type is used

3.    Perform a pre-startinspection of vehicle and lift components before each shift

4.    Perform a work zone inspection before each shift to ensure no holes, bumps, ditches, overhead hazards, high winds or other hazards exist.

5.    Ensure proper fall protection is used while on platforms

6.    Be aware of load capacities

7.    Obey manufacture’s operational recommendations

8.    Ovoid moving with loads elevated, unless permitted by manufacturer

9.    Be aware of overhead clearances

10.  Utilize wheel chocks if parking on an uneven surface

11.  Do not use aerial lifts to hoist suspended objects or material

12.  Ensure access gates and openings are closed on platform

13.  Do not lean over guardrails or handrails

14.  Be aware of overhead power lines

15.  Establish a closed work zone using hazard tape or rope whenever possible

16.  Be aware of other personnel entering the work zone

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