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Aerial Lift Safety for Windy Days

Has your company reviewed OSHA aerial lift wind restrictions lately? If not, consider this tragic story: In the fall of 2010, a student employee of Notre Dame University was in charge of filming the school’s football practices from a scissor lift. On one particularly windy day, the untrained worker was told to climb up on the lift and film as usual. The student went up on the lift, raising it to over 39 feet to film the practice. The wind was very strong, with gusts at over 50 miles per hour. The high winds blew the lift over and killed the worker.

This accident is just one reason for OSHA aerial lift wind restrictions. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s boom lift wind restrictions are designed to increase safety by:

  • Analyzing current wind conditions.
  • Halting work procedures if OSHA aerial lift wind restrictions are exceeded.
  • Preventing accidents and injuries – you can always go up in your boom lift another day!
  • Ensuring all U.S. employers that use aerial lifts are aware of OSHA bucket truck wind restrictions.
  • And much more

Aerial lifts and scissor lifts require comprehensive working in high winds safety training to prevent tragic accidents like the one above. Ensure all of your workers receive adequate aerial lift certification and safety training to understand OSHA aerial lift wind restrictions. Workers also need to know the OSHA bucket truck wind restrictions to ensure they are compliant and as knowledgeable as possible.

Do Not Operate an Aerial Lift During Winds of 20 MPH or Higher

Falls were the leading cause of death in the construction industry in 2014. They are also one of the top causes of death for aerial lift operators, and are often caused by high winds and other severe weather. According to the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force, most powered access platforms and boom lifts should not be used when the wind reaches a level 5 on a scale from 0-12. Level 5 is described as a fresh breeze, and between 17-21 miles per hour. Visually, you notice small trees beginning to sway and wave crests starting to form on inland waters.

Do Not Exceed the Lift’s Vertical or Horizontal Reach Limits

Before operating an aerial lift, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for vertical and horizontal reach limits. When the vertical or horizontal reach limit is exceeded, it can stress the machinery and cause balance and instability issues, especially in windy conditons. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the lift goes, the more cautious workers need to be. Additionally, take into account the added weight of the workers and any tools on board when calculating the load weight, and use outriggers and stabilizers to help stabilize the lift.

Watch Out for Electrical Power Lines and Other Dangerous Objects

Power lines are a considerable safety hazard for aerial lift workers. When setting up the work zone, employers and workers need to ensure that there are no potential hazards in close proximity to the aerial lift and that the wind levels aren’t over OSHA bucket truck wind restrictions. When working on electrical lines, remain at least 10 feet away from live electrical lines at all times, and make sure all workers wear protective clothing like hard hats, rubber boots, and insulated gloves.

Power lines can pose a danger to aerial lift operators

Always Use Fall Protection Equipment – Important for OSHA Aerial Lift Wind Restrictions

Full body harnesses and shock-absorbing lanyards are the main components of fall protection, along with guard rails on the platform, and are used to prevent a worker from falling to the ground or a lower working level. Fall protection systems are very effective at preventing workers from falling and getting injured or killed.

Fall protection is a controversial topic for scissor lift operators. To set the record straight, OSHA says that fall protection harnesses aren’t required on scissor lifts if there is a properly functioning guardrail system present. If there isn’t a guardrail system in place, or it isn’t safe or fully functioning, then a harness and lanyard are required. However, even on lifts with guardrails and fall protection equipment, OSHA bucket truck wind restrictions prohibit work during 20+ mph winds, the max wind speed for boom lift work.

In addition to having proper fall protection, stabilization and positioning are also important for preventing aerial lift accidents. Stabilization involves placing the aerial lift on even, stable ground. Ensuring the aerial lift is stable and secure is very important, especially when there is a bit of wind that can reduce the stabilization of the aerial lift. Positioning involves watching where you position the aerial lift, which includes overhead objects like electrical lines, structures, and trees. Keep tabs on wind conditions whenever working on aerial lifts; boom lift wind restrictions will help your company avoid accidents and injuries on the job!

Why You Need Aerial Lift Training and Where to Get It

OSHA aerial lift wind restrictions, fall protection, and other aerial lift safety issues – you need a training partner that shows your workers the importance of safety, including boom lift wind restrictions. AerialLiftCertification.com has OSHA compliant training for all aerial work platforms.

Luckily for you, this required training is easy, convenient, and affordable with AerialliftCertification.com. Our online programs were created for aerial lift operators, by aerial lift operators, who understand the ins and outs of what operators need to know. We cover how to operate all types of lifts, from cherry pickers to telescopic boom lifts to scissor lifts, how to perform equipment inspections, and how to recognize and avoid hazards.

We are also 100% OSHA-compliant, so you and your employer never need to worry about getting into trouble with OSHA and not meeting OSHA bucket truck wind restrictions.

In only about one hour from any device with an internet connection, your employees can complete their aerial lift training and be certified.  Operators will be qualified and prepared to operate aerial lifts and scissor lifts safely and understand when it’s safe to use the lifts, including  during OSHA aerial lift wind restrictions.

Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our online aerial lift training! Thanks for considering AerialLiftCertification.com for your OSHA aerial lift wind restrictions training!

More Aerial Lift Safety Resources – Beyond OSHA Aerial Lift Wind Restrictions

Safe aerial lift operation is often concerned with overhead hazards – power lines, overpasses, branches, and other obstacles. But what about the hazards that are under an aerial lift, boom lift, or other aerial work platform? In this blog post, we review essential safety tips for working on an aerial lift over water. Whether it’s a shipyard worker extended over a bay, a riverside construction project, or other AWP work over water, it’s important that every aerial lift operator has a firm grasp of the unique challenges posed by water. One of the problems presented with aerial lift operations isn’t simply falling – that’s serious enough – but drowning. Sensible fall protection measures are important for these types of tasks, and it’s recommended that you consult with your site safety supervisor before all aerial lift and AWP work over water. This article goes over different jobs associated with water-related aerial lift activity, fall protection methods, and other safety tips.

It’s one of the biggest debates for aerial lift workers and aerial work platform (AWP) operators: do workers need aerial lift fall protection? What does OSHA have to say about the matter? Are fall protection requirements enforced on a federal level, or are they determined on a site-by-site, state-by-state basis? All great questions…and in this blog post, we have all the answers! Of course, fall protection measures are required by OSHA – you probably already knew that. But instead of just giving a superficial analysis of this important safety issue, we give you the details you need to know, including OSHA standard 1926.453(b)(2)(v), different occupations associated with fall protection measures, and different reasons why fall protection simply makes sense for everyone involved. If you’ve ever wondered about why fall protection is so important, read this article now.

Update June 2019

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