According to OSHA, a manlift is a device that consists of platforms or brackets with attached handholds, which moves vertically in one direction and is operated and supported by a system of pulleys at the top and bottom. Manlifts are not used on the ground like other types of aerial lifts, and instead, are used to transport workers from floor to floor of a building. However, like any other type of aerial lift, a manlift offers its own unique dangers, and a manlift certification is the most effective way for workers to avoid hazards.
In January of 2011, a serious accident occurred involving a 22-year-old parking lot attendant. The worker suffered serious injuries when he fell 30-feet from a manlift he was using to descend to the 5th floor of a parking garage. The typical protocol for training a worker to use a manlift involves a verbal instruction with a supervisor, followed by a video viewing demonstrating safe operation. However, in this case, the employee only received a demonstration of how to ride a manlift followed by a ride in one with a supervisor. The worker was allowed to operate a manlift on his second day of work, despite feeling uncomfortable using the manlift.
In August of 2012, a worker at the ConAgra Foods four mill in Alton, Illinois was killed after he fell 70 feet from a manlift. According to the coroner’s office, the worker had complained about feeling dizzy before his fatal fall.
When a worker is not trained to operate a manlift, accidents are more likely to occur. For the accident involving the parking lot attendant, the worker was rushing to return to the main floor of the parking garage to help customers when he stepped off the manlift platform and got his shoelace stuck on the metal grate that is used for the landing surface. Employers should not instruct a new employee to operate equipment without first receiving adequate training involving a manlift certification.
According to OSHA standards, a manlift is only to be used to carry personnel from floor to floor and is never to be used to carry tools and equipment. Additionally, only those who are physically and mentally capable of performing tasks should be allowed to operate a manlift; if employees are not comfortable using a manlift, they should not be told to do so, and employers need to ensure that all employees are trained in how to recognize and avoid hazards.
As recommended by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, an appropriate and effective training program for all new manlift workers involves a three step process. It should include a lecture, demonstration, and practice. Manlift certification training should show the new worker how to operate the various controls, avoid hazards, include an in-person visual demonstration of how the manlift works, as well as a practice run with a supervisor that lasts until the new employee feels comfortable.
If you’re in need of your manlift certification, check out the comprehensive, OSHA-compliant training with AerialliftCertification.com.