If your tasks require working at heights, there's a good chance that an aerial lift will play a vital role in getting the job done. These elevated platforms enable workers to perform functions such as repairing utility lines, exterior building maintenance, trimming trees, washing windows and conducting safety inspections. Examples of the various types of aerial lifts include boom, vertical personnel, material and scissor.
While aerial lifts are productive and efficient machines, they do pose some hazards to workers. As with any job that involves working at elevation, the risk of falling is always present. Other potential dangers include coming in contact with electrical lines, falling objects that strike individuals on the ground, accidental ejections and machine tip-overs. Paying close attention to aerial lift safety steps is crucial for preventing accidents and injuries.
Aerial Lift Safety Tips
The Cat® Rental Store has assembled the following list of tips and advice to help you use your equipment productively and safely:
- Train your crews: Make sure your workers receive proper training for the types of lifts they operate and that they have up-to-date certifications. Also, be sure they have access to — and follow — the manufacturer's instructions regarding safe equipment use.
- Wear safety gear: Verify that workers are using the appropriate safety gear. According to OSHA guidelines, all aerial lift operators who work at heights must wear a full-body harness or restraining belt.
- Conduct regular inspections: Have your maintenance team inspect the lift before each use. Specific areas to check include fluid levels, tires, hydraulic and electrical systems, and emergency controls.
- Survey the job site: Check the work area for any hazards that could endanger operators, such as unstable terrain, overhead power lines or obstacles. Avoid using the equipment during heavy winds if possible.
- Keep the machine's capabilities in mind: Each aerial lift has a specific load and reach capacity. Attempting to exceed these parameters can put your workers at risk.
- Work cautiously around power lines: Stay at least 10 feet away from electrical lines when using the machine. Always assume that the lines are energized, even if you believe they're not live.
- Apply the brakes: Always use brakes and outriggers to prevent the lift from rolling, even when working on level ground. Apply wheel chocks when using the machine on inclines.
- Lower before moving: Never attempt to move a scissor lift when it's in the raised position, especially if a worker is on the lift. Doing so could cause the machine to tip over.
- Never sit on the edge: Sitting on the side of the guardrail or bucket creates a fall hazard and could cause the lift to tip.
Contact The Cat® Rental Store to Learn More
The Cat Rental Store offers a wide selection of aerial lifts for rent at competitive rates. Give us a call today at 1-800-RENT-CAT to get the rental process started and learn more valuable aerial lift safety tips. You can also visit a location near you or contact us online for a quick quote.
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