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How to Inspect a Boom Lift

inspect a boom lift

Boom lifts, aka aerial lifts, are large pieces of equipment used for various tasks on construction sites, in window washing and painting services, sign work, cherry-picking, tree work, and more. Being such large and heavy machinery, boom lifts are high risk and lead to accidents every year. When operating on and around boom lifts, it is necessary to be fully informed of safety protocols. One area of safety training is learning how to inspect the equipment and surrounding area properly for any damage or safety hazards.

To qualify to operate boom lifts, workers need to first complete boom lift certification training, which teaches everything from how to operate the equipment, how to assess the environment, how to avoid dangers, and how to inspect the equipment. When all of these areas of safety are combined, workplaces are the most prepared to prevent injuries and fatalities, in addition to fines, liabilities, and damage costs.

The Two Types of Boom Lift Inspections

There are two main types of inspections trained operators need to perform before operating to ensure there is no damage, loose or broken parts, or leaking fluids. These two inspections are pre-start inspections and work zone inspections. Both inspections are done before the start of each work shift. They are performed to verify that the equipment and its components are in safe working condition, in addition to the surrounding environment. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when performing inspections and keep this checklist handy.

Pre-Start Inspections: Start by reviewing the vehicle’s components, checking the oil, hydraulic, fuel and coolant levels, fluid leaks, wheels and tires, battery and charger, controls, horns, lights, backup alarms, and the steering and brakes. Next, look at the lift components. Check the operating and emergency controls, personal protection devices, hydraulic, air, pneumatic, fuel and electrical systems, the fiberglass and insulating components, missing or unreadable cards and instructions, fasteners and pins, cable and wiring harnesses, outriggers and stabilizers, loose or missing parts, and the guardrail systems.

Work Zone Inspections: It is the employer’s duty to ensure work conditions are always safe and free of hazards. Corrective and preventative measures are the most effective at protecting the safety of workers. During this inspection, items to look for include drop-offs, holes, and unstable surfaces, unsafe ceiling heights, slopes, ditches and bumps, debris, overhead electrical power lines and other obstructions, high wind and other severe weather conditions, slippery surfaces, and pedestrian workers near equipment and dangerous tools.

Both of these inspections should be performed daily and recorded. Annual checks should also be performed, at least 13 months after the last check, with records kept for at least 4 years after.

Get Safety Training at is an online aerial lift training platform that teaches workers everything they need to know about operating aerial lifts, recognizing hazards, and inspecting the equipment and work zone. The training takes only about one hour to complete, and can be accessed on any device that has an internet connection. Ensure your workers are knowledgeable and up-to-date on all OSHA standards and safety regulations to prevent accidents in the workplace.

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