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Exiting an Extended Aerial Lift – Guidelines from the International Powered Access Federation

A Scissor Lift and a cherry picker on a construction site

Sometimes, an aerial lift operator has to exit the vehicle “at height.” That’s just another way of saying “way up in the air,” for all you aerial lift and aerial work platform (AWP) novices out there.

Sounds dangerous, right?

Well, it depends on preparation, training, and a host of other factors. Exiting an extended aerial lift doesn’t have to be hazardous. Representatives from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) suggest than exiting an extended aerial lift platform is necessary at times, and doesn’t necessarily have to be dangerous.

Before Exiting, Consult IPAF Suggestions

First, a robust risk assessment must be conducted. Obviously, leaving an aerial lift around power lines would be catastrophic. But given the right set of circumstances, a worker is certainly capable of “leaving the cockpit,” as some folks describe it.

Four key points were stressed by the IPAF in regards to safe exiting of an elevated aerial lift:

  1. Have a rescue plan in place. The ultimate Plan B, this should always accompany a situation that requires a worker to exit an aerial lift at height.
  2. Fall protection measures. Even out of the control cabin, fall protection equipment should be deployed.
  3. Limiting the dynamic load of the AWP platform. In other words, whenever a worker is set to leave the bucket, workers should ensure no other loads will move the aerial lift.
  4. Stabilizing the aerial lift. Leaving a lift at height should only occur when the terrain is favorable for such operations; if there’s ice, loose gravel or other potentially hazardous conditions, a worker should stay in place or find another service that can accommodate the “exit at height.”

To view the official IPAF document regarding exiting aerial lifts at height, click here.

Aerial Lift Certification is another way to ensure safety for you and your co-workers. Our online-based instruction has assisted thousands or workers in a variety of industrial applications. From construction sites to maintenance facilities, ALC is the best possible option for affordable, on-point, OSHA-compliant AWP, aerial lift and scissor lift training.

Give us a call at (888) 278-8896 to learn more, or check out the ALC contact page for more information. We offer a trio of training classes, with customized content for unique roles. Get started today – your safety program is too important to ignore. Thanks for reading the Aerial Lift Certification blog!

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