According to the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health, every year an average of 26 constructor workers die while using aerial lifts. These fatalities most commonly occur from falls, electrocutions, or collapses / tip-overs. Around 70% of these fatalities occur while using boom lifts, while 25% occur while using scissor lifts. It’s important to realize what the potential dangers are while operating aerial lift equipment and to take the necessary precautions to minimize any potential risks.
There are some basic safety recommendations given by the Center for Construction Research and Training that are important to remember while operating aerial lifts. When working with or near electricity it’s important that you abide by the following guidelines:
- Anyone not electrically trained should stay at least 10 feet away from any live overhead power lines.
- Avoid any sudden movements while controlling the aerial lift to avoid accidental contact with live power lines.
- Always follow OSHA guidelines for both wearing the proper electrical safety gear and using the properly insulated tools when necessary.
When it comes to the safe operational use of aerial lifts, OSHA has an extensive list of proper safety requirements and recommendations. Some of the main requirements and recommendations are listed below:
- Every worked involved in the operation of an aerial lift must be trained by a properly qualified individual.
- Workers shall always stand firmly on the floor of the lift basket, and shall not sit or climb on the edge of the basket.
- A body belt shall be worn and attached to the basket while working in a lift.
- The aerial lift truck shall not be moved when the lift is in an elevated position with workers in the basket.
- All manufacturer set weight and load limits shall not be exceeded.
For more extensive rules and regulations visit the following OSHA webpage: (https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=10754)
It’s important to remember that no matter how confident you feel, that there is always a chance of making a mistake. When operating aerial lifts or other construction equipment, overconfidence can very quickly result in injury or death. Always follow the proper safety procedures and remember that your well-being is more important than spending a few less minutes accomplishing the task at hand.
Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company