Operating an aerial lift can be a dangerous task if an individual is not properly trained or knowledgeable about how it runs. A company should first instruct their employees to undergo safety training and exams before one can operate a lift. Sitting through instructional videos, PowerPoint slide, and answering questions can be a tedious task. However, it is important for a future operator to have knowledge of how it works and what to do if the worst case scenario happens.
Once the worker becomes familiar with how an aerial lift operates on paper, the individual needs to make it clear with their managers that they comprehend the hazards, operations, safety components, and functionality of an aerial lift. The employee needs to accept the workplace regulations and standards that apply to operate this type of machinery.
Inspecting the lift before an employee operates the aerial lift is a key component before utilizing it. Running the machinery through a routine inspection helps to make clear that all parts are working at their best. It is also important to inspect the surrounding work area the aerial lift will be used in. Discovering hazards such as a slippery surface or low hanging light are factors that could play a role in a workplace accident. If the machinery itself fails an inspection piece and doesn’t run properly, informing a supervisor and taking the lift out of service until further notice is an appropriate measure.
An employee wearing the correct safety protection is another important attribute to operating an aerial lift. Wearing head protection such as a construction hard hat and strapping yourself to the lift are safety precautions. Hard hats are required at almost all active construction or work sites. Although, being strapped into the aerial lift can prevent from a potentially fatal fall. Having a firm footing on the ground surface of the lift at all times can prevent a fall if the base of the machinery were to shift suddenly.
An individual should keep a cell phone or two-way radio on hand at all times when it is raised. If the system were to fail or if there was an issue, it is important for the workers on the ground to be informed at all times as to what is happening instead of making assumptions.
Finally, making sure the area in the lift is clear. Simple necessities such as tool boxes, miscellaneous materials, and other objects can act as tripping hazards. Removing these items from this area can prevent the possibility of a workplace accident.
Operating aerial lifts is not a task that is taught overnight. It is a lengthy process to acquire operational knowledge before hands-on work can begin. A piece of machinery such as this can pose many safety hazards, but with proper training and preparation for its use, operating an aerial lift can be successful.