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Aerial Lifts

Aerial lifts are vehicles with mounted, boom-supported aerial platforms that are adjustable in order to provide access to equipment or above-ground structures.  Aerial work platforms can be powered or raised/lowered manually. They may only be used by trained, qualified, and authorized employees. Manufacturers recommend that those who use aerial work platforms (AWP) are thoroughly trained and read/understand all information regarding the safe use of an AWP. Managers must have copies of the manufacturer’s operating manuals available for all employees who work on aerial work platforms. In addition, the company must develop a written safety program including safety information from the manufacturer. Under Construction Standards and General Industry Standards, OSHA requires the use of fall protection when working on an AWP. Aerial lift compliance falls under OSHA as well as ANSI. OSHA may cite businesses under the “general duty clause” for not complying with AWP standards. Only trained employees may work on or operate an aerial platform, and the trained employees must be fully aware of the hazards associated with aerial lifts (tip-over, collapse, electrical shock, falling objects, contact with overhead objects, etc.).

  1. Aerial Lift Procedures:
  • Only trained employees can operate an AWP.
  • Training must include:
    • An explanation of possible hazards.
    • Use and maintenance of PPE.
    • AWP inspection procedures.
    • Hazard recognition.
  • Employees must read and understand all required safety procedures before operating an aerial lift.
  • Hazards must be identified and eliminated, if possible.
  • Aerial lifts should not be operated if wind speeds exceed 30 mph.
  • Operators must:
    • Know the procedure for dealing with hazards or unsafe conditions.
    • Inspect the AWP prior to beginning work.
    • Know every component of the machine (tires, battery, emergency control device, etc.).
    • Know how to use required PPE.
    • Know the load limit of the equipment.
    • Know to set the brakes and use wheel chocks when on an incline.
    • Maintain at least 10 feet of clearance from overhead lines.
  • Operators must be retrained if there is any operating problem.