Approach Management

Tips: Working in and around Aerial Lifts

On September 27, 2008, a roofing contractor died when he fell from a boom-supported elevating work platform. The 53-year-old victim was working to secure a roof truss while building a private airplane hanger. He used the end of the boom just under the front of the platform to push against a truss girder so that he could line up the girder and bolt it. The shaft on the hydraulic boom snapped, causing the platform to flip backwards. He was ejected from the platform, fell, and hit a backhoe below before landing on the ground about 30 feet below. He was not wearing any fall protection.



Aerial Lifts are a resourceful piece of equipment when you need to access elevated heights.

The use of ladders or other temporary elevated platforms can create hazards especially for fall protection.

The use of an aerial lift such as (JLG, Snorkel, scissor, articulating boom platform, etc.) is a great alternative and is not only used in construction, but many general industry operations as well.


Here are some safety tips for those working in and around this equipment:

•  As with other powered vehicles, inspect the lift prior to utilizing it.

•  Walk around and ensure there are no leaks, check to ensure all the controls are functioning correctly.

•  Never walk under the boom to gain access to the platform.

•  Only utilize the lift on level ground.

•  Only stand on the platform floor. Never stand or sit on the railing.

•  Always look in the direction the machine is moving.

•  Do not rest the boom or basket on a steel structure of any kind.

•  Do not position the elevating work platform against another object

•  Wear safety harnesses and tie-off to the manufacturer’s anchorage point within the platform at all times when you're in the basket of a boom supported lift. This includes when you are lowered and moving the equipment to another location.


Keep in mind:

•  Only use the elevating work platforms for their intended purpose as specified by the manufacturer.

•  Keep your hands in the internal portion of the basket when raising or lowering the basket.

•  Ensure that a fire extinguisher is mounted in the basket when performing activities that present a fire hazard such as welding or grinding. Ensure you have a fire watch person below.

•  Except in a case of an emergency, ground controls shall not be operated on an occupied lift (lift occupant shall be in full control of the lift at all times).

•  Maintain a clear view of the path of travel.

•  Keep a safe distance from obstacles, debris, drop-offs, holes, depressions, ramps, and other hazards to safe travel.

•  Keep a safe distance from overhead powerlines.

•  Perform a job/task hazard assessment to identify hazards and plan how to avoid them.


Safety goggles $15,

Steel Toe Shoes $150,

Hard hat $10,

Coming home to your family in one piece, Priceless.

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