Fatalities due to aerial lift accidents average out to be about 26 deaths per year. These deaths can be prevented by using safety precautions that are in place to protect workers who use lifts on a regular basis to do their jobs.
If you are operating an aerial lift, below are several precautions and checks that you must perform before operations can begin.
Check for Malfunctions
The first precaution you should always complete is to check your equipment for any possible malfunctions. Check fluid pressure whether it is air, hydraulic or fuel based. Also check to make sure that the equipment is on level ground and within OSHA slope requirements.
Check Your Surroundings
Check your surroundings carefully. Look up, down and all around! Make sure that there are no overhead wires that you can run into or anything on or around the equipment that would be considered a hazard.
Try to Beat the Heat
If you are going to be working on a hot day, make sure to consider the following:
- Wear sunblock
- Take frequent rests
- Drink plenty of water
- Bring water up with you
Make sure that there are no loose or missing parts on the lift itself. Check the bucket or platform to ensure that the proper equipment is available for your safety. Also check tires, operating and other emergency controls to ensure they are functioning properly.
Use Safety Equipment
Use the proper harnesses and other fall safety equipment when you are in the aerial lift. These are for your safety in case of a fall! This equipment will go a long way in keeping you safe. Also make sure that you have fall protection with your employer just in case.
Don’t Get Zapped
In order to prevent electrocutions, non-electrical workers should be at least 10 feet away from power lines. If you are an electrical worker, make sure that you are grounded and that the electrical current does not pass through your body by installing the proper insulation on the aerial lift itself.
Use Common Sense
Some tips for aerial lift safety are just plain common sense! Make sure to take the following tips seriously:
- If using a bucket, make sure to close the door
- Do not lean against guardrails
- Do not exceed the manufacturers weight limit
- Use proper traffic guidelines (cones, signs & traffic directors)
- If a question arises, look at the operating & safety manuals
We hope that these tips helped you understand the seriousness of operating an aerial lift. And remember, it is better to be safe than sorry!