Earlier in the year, two utility workers were killed in an aerial lift accident that could have easily been avoided if the proper safety measures were followed. As a result of the negligence, the employer of the two men is now facing $168,000 in fines. OSHA released a statement regarding the incident, stating the deaths could have been prevented if the crane had been used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, an investigation of the company found that employees were not properly trained to operate the equipment and the proper safety measures weren’t followed.
Many aerial lift accidents such as this can easily be prevented. Aerial Lift Certification recommends all employees are properly trained and certified to operation aerial lifts to abide by OSHA requirements and employer policies.
In addition, it’s essential the manufacturer’s guidelines are correctly followed to reduce the risk for using a piece of equipment improperly. As all manufacturers have different requirements depending on the machinery, it’s vital each manual is followed correctly. And, all OSHA standards must be followed at all times.
While using aerial lifts, employees must wear a harness and lifeline correctly. Lifts shouldn’t be operated on slopes, uneven surfaces, wet areas, or sandy areas to avoid tipping over. When using aerial lifts, employees should never stand underneath the bucket and equipment should not be operated within 10 feet of any object, including overhead power lines. Create a safety zone by utilize barricades, warning signs, and cones to protect workers and pedestrians while operating an aerial lift.
In addition, all lifts and equipment need to be inspected daily to ensure they are working correctly. These simple safety measures and a well trained operator will greatly reduce the risk for an aerial lift related accident.