Aerial lifts can add a wide range of capabilities to your worksite and improve worker safety. An aerial lift allows workers to reach new heights and complete many tasks that wouldn't otherwise be possible. But these new capabilities come with certain safety risks that workers and contractors must be aware of before any work begins. Here is our list of aerial lift safety tips to help you create the safest work environment possible.
Types of Aerial Lifts
Aerial lifts come in several different types, including boom lifts, material lifts, scissor lifts and vertical personnel lifts. There are also many configurations, including a cherry picker or basket on the end or smaller platforms that support materials as well as people. Aerial lifts can move straight up and down or at an angle and be suited to rough or smooth terrain.
The type of aerial lift you use will determine how workers need to use the machine and behave around it, so always check the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
Aerial Lift Safety Checklist
Here's our top six tips to keep workers and operators safe when using aerial lifts:
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Working at heights requires the right PPE, such as hard hats, steel-toed boots and safety glasses, along with body harnesses or restraining belts attached to the lift basket. Employees should also keep long hair pulled back and make sure no loose clothing could get caught in the equipment.
- Ensure all nearby workers understand the hazards of raised equipment. Employees should not place themselves between the equipment and other hazards, such as nearby walls and beams. Any workers moving around on the ground must be aware of the hazards of falling tools and moving equipment.
- Always stay the proper distance away from energized power lines. Treat all lines as if they are energized. Typically, this distance is 10 feet.
- Never exceed the equipment's load limits or operate it against manufacturer recommendations. Account for the combined weights of the workers, materials and tools. Other concerns include moving the equipment while a worker is raised up. Employees should never lean out of or sit on the edge of the basket.
- Conduct pre-inspection checks before using a lift. Always inspect the equipment before use, including looking for damage, low fluid levels, alarm or light malfunctions and missing parts. In addition to the equipment, check the surrounding area, including rough terrain, high winds, nearby power lines and other obstructions. Use outriggers, wheel chocks and brakes wherever necessary.
- Don't override safety features. It might be tempting to speed up work by moving the lift faster or higher, but the risks are not worth it.
Work With a Reliable Partner for Rental Equipment
If you're considering renting an aerial lift, you need to work with a partner who takes care of their machinery so you can minimize the risk of equipment malfunctions. At The Cat® Rental Store, we take great care of our aerial lift equipment and can help you meet your safety requirements with lifts that are well-matched to your applications.
To request a quote or learn more about our aerial lifts, call 1-800-RENT-CAT or browse our equipment online.
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