#YHSafetyTips - Aerial Lifts

Posted by Matt Bushey in #YHSafetyTips, Jan 11, 2017

What is considered to be an Aerial Lift?

Any vehicle ‐mounted device that lifts up a person to a height over the work area is considered as an aerial lift. This includes the following types:
‐ Extendable boom platforms
‐ Aerial ladders
‐ Vertical towers
‐ Articulating (jointed) boom platforms
‐ Any combination of the types above

A scissor lift is not an aerial lift, but is classified by OSHA as a mobile scaffold in the scaffolds standard.

Dangers with Aerial Lifts
Many things can cause injuries or death using aerial lifts ‐ the highest being electrocutions, falls, and collapses or tip‐overs.
Other Hazards Include:
‐ Objects falling from lifts
‐ Entanglement hazards
‐ Contact with objects
‐ Structural failures
‐ Fall from elevated level
‐ Contact with ceilings and other overhanging objects
‐ Tip‐overs ‐ Electrical shock

Power Lines
When operating an aerial lift, you must maintain a clearance of at least 10 feet (3 meters), from any overhead lines. Always treat overhead power lines as live or energized, even though they may appear to be safely insulated or turned off. Qualified power and communication workers are trained specifically to work within 10 feet to a power line.

To prevent injuries and death, only trained and authorized individuals are permitted to conduct work with an aerial lift. OSHA training should include the following criteria: 

‐ Details of hazards including electrical, fall, and falling object hazards

‐ Methods for handling each hazards
‐ How to tell if a certain condition is risky in each work setting

‐ Directions for proper use of the lift, which includes the maximum load intended and load capacity
‐ Requirements as directed by the manufacturer
‐ Demonstrations that include what skills and knowledge are needed to properly operate the specific aerial lift(s)
‐ Employer or outside company can train individuals to become authorized to use the lift(s)

Fall Protection Use
When using fall protection, never belt off to an adjacent pole, structure or equipment while working from an aerial lift. A body harness or positioning device with a lanyard attached to the boom or basket of the aerial lift the worker is positioned on, will help prevent the worker from being ejected or removed from the basket.

Check back next week when we discuss guardrail safety.
Did you miss last week's post on Anxiety Awareness? If so, click here to read it.

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