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Are Load Alert Systems the Future of Aerial Lift Safety?

future of aerial lift safety

Aerial lifts and other large pieces of construction equipment have numerous tools that are used to improve safety in the workplace. These include harnesses, lanyards, hard hats, gloves, and warning signals. Although plenty of safety protocols have been put into place, innovative products are continuing to evolve to bring the construction industry into the 21st century and solve chronic hazards. One such product is the new load alert system from Terex.

What is a Load Alert System?

Terex Utilities, a construction equipment manufacturer, recently developed a load alert system that will be available for select aerial lift models. The load alert system is designed to monitor an aerial lift’s jib and basket capacity, winch line load, and the winch line’s distance from the platform’s pivot point to the boom position. If it senses an overload condition, the system responds with visible and audible alarms to alert operators and ground workers when a platform or boom is too heavy. It is meant to be used in combination with the aerial lift material handling load chart to improve safety on the work site.

How Can the Load Alert System Improve Safety?

The new load alert system can improve safety on a work site by helping to prevent one of the top hazards involved with aerial lifts; tip overs due to exceeded loads that cause injuries and fatalities every year. The alarms are activated at the boom tip and therefore are audible for all workers in the area. What is unique about this alert system is that workers can receive wireless notifications on their phone via text or email so that supervisors can manage the equipment.

What Problems Can the Load Alert System Solve?

Although load management and handling are taught in aerial lift certification classes, workers aren’t always accurate when calculating the correct weight of the load. The new load alert system is a fool-proof way for workers to know if the load limit has been exceeded, and solves the issue of pedestrians not being made aware of load hazards that the operator may be aware of. The modern, wireless technology incorporated into the new system also solves the issue of outdated equipment.

The new load alert system will also help employers save money on equipment damage, employee liability, and OSHA fines by reducing the occurrence of preventable accidents.

Is OSHA Involved with the New Load Alert System?

Although OSHA does not require the load alert system since it is a new concept, it will no doubt be able to prevent tip-overs caused by overweight loads. OSHA advises in its Aerial Lift Fact Sheet for workers never to exceed boom or basket load limits, but they don’t specify how exactly that can be achieved. The new load alert system is the “how” to this expectation from OSHA and allows workers to accurately and instantly identify an overweight load.

Load alert systems can help improve workplace safety and reduce accidents, but they won’t be effective if workers aren’t properly trained. Check out for OSHA-compliant aerial lift certification that can teach workers how to operate aerial lifts and handle loads.

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