Aerial lifts are vehicle-mounted devices that allow workers to perform work above the ground. Construction workers involved in aerial lift accidents could face falls, broken bones and death. Approximately 26 construction workers die each year from using aerial lifts. More than half of the deaths involve boom-supported lifts, such as bucket trucks and cherry pickers. These require a body harness with an energy-absorbing lanyard connected to an anchor point provided by the manufacturer. Most of the remaining deaths are electrocutions, falls and tip-overs involving scissor lifts. OSHA requires full guardrails on scissor lifts.
Preventing Injuries from Aerial Lifts
Before Operating An Aerial Lift:
Check operating and emergency controls.
Check safety devices such as outriggers, guardrails, and personal fall protection equipment.
Look for leaks of air, hydraulic fluid and fuel.
Look for a level surface that won’t shift. Never exceed the manufacturer’s slope limits.
Look for hazards such as holes, bumps, debris and overhead power lines.
Set outriggers, brakes and wheel chocks, even if on a level surface.
If working near traffic, set up work zone warnings using cones and signs.
While Operating An Aerial Lift:
Always close lift platform chains or doors.
Always wear fall arrest equipment with lanyard attached to a designated anchor point.
Always stand on the floor of the bucket. Do not climb on or lean over guardrails.
Do not exceed the load limits.
Do not drive an aerial lift with the lift extended, unless designed for that purpose.