5 Common Aerial Lift Accidents and How to Prevent Them
Category: Equipment and Solutions
By following the necessary safety recommendations, aerial lift operators can prevent most accidents from occurring. Equipment manufacturers create manuals for every machine to ensure proper operation. OSHA has outlined its own set of guidelines to ensure a healthy work environment for all job sites.
Still, by simply remaining proactive and using common sense, it’s possible to eliminate many accidents. Below are five common aerial lift accidents and how to prevent them.
How to Prevent Aerial Lift Accidents
- Lift tip-overs: Tip-overs can occur for various reasons. However, ensuring the lift is not maneuvered when the platform is extended and not exceeding the recommended weight limit are critical first steps in maintaining stability. Keeping the equipment idle during times of heavy wind or precipitation is also essential in accident prevention when using aerial lifts.
- Platform falls: By staying inside the guardrails and making sure the gate is closed, platform workers can prevent falls from occurring. It’s also critical to wear a harness at all times. Both lift operators and platform workers should be aware of any impending obstructions to prevent collisions. Staying alert to surrounding power lines is critical in avoiding electrocution.
- Operator error: Many accidents occur because an operator is either improperly trained or unfamiliar with a particular machine. In addition to following the certification guidelines recommended by OSHA, all companies should require their operators to familiarize themselves with the manufacturer’s equipment manuals before beginning a job. Even if two pieces of equipment are very similar, different brands or models might involve different methods of operation.
- Equipment failure: Before beginning each task, an operator should complete a basic checklist for inspecting both the interior and exterior of the lift. Procedures like these often identify potential equipment malfunctions that could lead to accidents. These inspections might take a few extra minutes at the beginning of a shift, but they are worth the efforts many times over. Please take a look at our list of recommended maintenance checkpoints for optimal equipment performance.
- Not using proper safety gear: In addition to wearing personal safety equipment like seatbelts, helmets, boots and goggles, workers should know how to use any added safety features your machine includes. Brakes, outriggers and wheel chocks can be especially helpful when fully extending the platform or working on an incline.