Aerial lifts are commonly used during construction projects, and they allow workers to safely perform many jobs above the ground. Yet, aerial lifts are also a leading cause of construction accidents in the United States, according to The Center for Construction Research and Training. This is why all job sites need a boom lift safety checklist.
What Is a Boom Lift Safety Checklist?
OSHA provides safety guidelines to help workers avoid on-the-job hazards. But when these guidelines are ignored, accidents can happen.
Worker safety should always come first, and a boom lift safety checklist helps keep safety top of mind at all times. With this checklist at their disposal, workers know how to complete tasks safely, every day.
What Is Included in an Aerial Work Platform Inspection Checklist?
An aerial work platform inspection checklist can help you comply with OSHA safety standards and prevent accidents. Most important, this checklist helps you and your coworkers stay safe on the job.
Now, let’s look at what is included in an aerial work platform inspection checklist:
1. Aerial Boom Lift Pre-Use Inspection Checklist
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Every aerial lift job should start with an inspection of the lift, as this helps prevent damaged or faulty parts from creating hazards. The inspection should cover the vehicle and the lift, including:
✓ All fluid levels, including the oil, fuel, and coolant
✓ Any fluid leaks
✓ Wheels and tires
✓ Battery and charger
✓ Lower-level controls
✓ Horns, gauges, lights, backup alarms, and other warning devices
✓ Steering and brakes
In addition, parts of the lift to inspect include:
✓ Operating and emergency controls
✓ Personal protective equipment
✓ Air, hydraulic, fuel, and electric systems
✓ Fiberglass and other insulating components
✓ Missing or hard-to-read charts, warnings, or instructional markings
✓ Mechanical fasteners and locking pins
✓ Outriggers, stabilizers, and similar structures
✓ Loose or missing parts
✓ Guardrail systems
Remember, even a minor defect can cause significant problems that lead to an accident. If an inspection turns up damaged or missing parts, work should not begin until they are repaired or replaced.
2. Job Site Factors
Every job site has safety hazards, which is why every boom lift safety checklist should include a thorough inspection of a work area.
All hazards must be recognized and removed before work can begin. These include:
✓ Drop-offs, holes, or unstable surfaces
✓ Low ceiling heights
✓ Slopes, ditches, and bumps on the ground
✓ Debris and other floor obstructions
✓ Live power lines and cables
✓ Overhead obstructions
✓ High winds and severe weather like heavy rain and ice
✓ Other workers close to the work area
The aforementioned hazards can make it difficult to maintain a safe job site, and you need to address them before they get out of hand. Of course, if you enroll in a boom lift safety training program, you can gain the insights you need to remove job site hazards without delay.
3. Fall Protection
OSHA requires aerial lift workers to have proper fall protection equipment. Workers should also have proper training, so they know how to use their safety gear.
Fall protection gear is designed to prevent falls by restricting worker movement. Some types can also arrest falls when they occur.
Before starting a job, use an aerial lift safety checklist for fall protection gear that ensures:
✓ All workers have the proper gear.
✓ Workers have body harnesses or restraining belts and lanyards.
✓ These are attached to a point on the boom or bucket.
✓ These are not belted off to nearby structures or poles.
✓ All access gates are closed.
✓ Workers stand firmly on a bucket floor or platform.
✓ Workers don’t climb or lean on or over the guardrails.
✓ There are no planks, ladders, or other devices in the working position.
An aerial lift safety checklist that accounts for fall protection gear is crucial. With this checklist in hand, you’ll be well-equipped to prevent boom lift falls now and in the future.
4. Overhead Protection
Overhead obstructions increase risk on a job site. They can cause forceful impacts, electric shock, and workers to be crushed by objects. Meanwhile, hitting an obstruction with a platform or sloping or unstable ground can cause tip-overs.
In terms of improving aerial lift overhead protection, there are lots of things you can do at your job site, such as:
✓ Assume all power lines are live.
✓ Stay at least 10 feet away from all power lines and cables.
✓ De-energize live power lines in a work zone.
✓ Keep an eye out for overhead objects.
✓ Don’t set up the aerial lift between overhead obstructions.
✓ Set outriggers on pads or a level surface, then set the
✓ Use wheel chocks on sloped surfaces.
✓ Set up work zone warnings like cones and signs.
Overhead protection sometimes goes unaddressed, but you need to account for it. By doing so, you can limit the risks of accidents caused by overhead obstructions.
Aerial Lift Safety Checklist Summary
The bottom line: aerial lift safety is key, and in some instances, it can mean the difference between life and death. To maximize aerial lift safety, you should:
1. Perform a pre-inspection
2. Evaluate job site factors
3. Prioritize fall protection
4. Eliminate overhead obstructions
5. Receive scissor lift safety training
Furthermore, employers should ensure that all workers who are required to use a scissor lift are fully trained and certified. This scissor lift training checklist outlines the key topics that should be covered in a training program:
✓ How to safely operate different types of scissor lifts
✓ How to perform pre-job inspections
✓ How to recognize and remove job site hazards
✓ How to navigate around workers and equipment while driving a lift indoors
✓ How to operate a scissor lift outdoors over different types of terrain
✓ How to safely use all lift controls
✓ How to use safety guidelines to prevent accidents
On its own, a scissor lift training checklist is a valuable tool. But, workers also need to use scissor lift training to learn how to properly use this type of lift. If these workers know how to safely use a scissor lift, they can perform everyday tasks without putting themselves and others in danger.
Finally, there are several things you should never do when you operate an aerial lift, such as:
✓ Exceed the lift’s total load weight limits
✓ Use the lift as a crane
✓ Carry objects larger than the platform
✓ Drive with the lift platform raised
✓ Use the lower level controls unless platform workers say it is safe to do so
✓ Exceed vertical or horizontal limits
✓ Use the lift in high winds
✓ Override safety devices
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Take advantage of aerial lift safety training, too. That way, you can find the best ways to eliminate aerial lift safety dangers from your work environment.
Enroll in Aerial Lift Safety Training from AerialLiftCertification.com Today
If you are concerned about putting together a bucket truck safety inspection checklist, there is no need to stress. Because, if you sign up for aerial lift safety training from AerialLiftCertification.com, you can learn how to prevent aerial lift accidents.
Our aerial lift safety training program complies with OSHA guidelines, can be taken anywhere you have Internet access, and only takes about an hour to complete. It also protects your most important asset — your people.
To learn more about our aerial lift safety training program or to begin safety classes, please contact us online or call us today at (888) 278-8896.