Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Tool Box Talk: Aerial Lift Safety

2 min read

Aerial lifts include scissor lifts, bucket trucks, and cherry pickers. Here are some reasons why, each year, construction workers are killed or injured while using this equipment:

  • They were not wearing a harness and fell off the equipment.
  • They fell with the equipment when it tipped over.
  • They were electrocuted when the equipment touched a power line or electrical wires.

Al’s Story

Al was working in a bucket truck to reach  a sign he needed to repair. The sign was located near some electrical wires. Al was not provided with a body harness. While he was working, the truck shifted.  Al lost his

balance, fell 20 feet to the ground, and died.

  •   What caused this incident?
  •   How could this have been prevented?
  •   Have you or someone you know had an injury from aerial lifts? If so, what happened?

Remember This

Before operating an aerial lift

  • Check operating and emergency controls.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions and set outriggers, brakes, and wheel chocks, even if on a level surface. Look for a level surface that  won’t shift.  Never  exceed the manufacturer’s slope  limits.
  • Look for potential hazards such as potholes, bumps, or debris  that  could cause  the lift to tip over.
  •   Avoid contact with overhead hazards such as electrical wires or power  lines.
  • Ask your supervisor if the electrical wires or power lines near the work have been de-energized.
  •  Close lift-platform chains or doors,  and check guardrails. OSHA requires guardrails on scissor lifts.
  • Check personal fall protection equipment. If there are signs of damage, your employer should give you new equipment.
  • Look for leaks of air, hydraulic fluid, and fuel.
  • Always follow the procedures in the user manual.
  • If working near traffic, set up cones  and signs as work zone  warnings.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 the guardrails.
  • DO NOT exceed the load limits. DO NOT drive an aerial lift with the lift extended, unless  designed for that  purpose.

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