Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP) come in a wide assortment of styles for many various applications. There are a multitude of safety procedures in place to protect workers from fall related injuries. It is important that the procedures be practiced and used every day during aerial operations. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes the standards for “Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Work Platforms”.
These elevating and rotating work platforms are commonly known as:
- Aerial Lifts
- Extensible and articulating boom platforms
- Vertical Towers
These lifting vehicles may not be “field modified” for uses other than those originally intended by the manufacturer unless the equipment is as least as safe as it was prior to the modification and the alteration must be certified in writing by the manufacturer, or an equivalent entity.
Always follow these guidelines when working with aerial equipment:
- Only authorized personnel may operate aerial lifting equipment.
- Equipment must be inspected each day prior to use.
- Lift controls must be tested daily, prior to use, to determine that they are in safe operating condition.
- Aerial platforms that are primarily designed as personnel carriers must have both platform (upper) and lower controls.
- All controls shall be plainly marked as to their function.
- Upper controls must be in or beside the platform within easy reach of the operator.
- Lower controls must provide for over-riding of the upper controls.
- Lower-level controls must not be operated without permission if workers are in the lift, except in case of emergency.
- A tethering system of a body belt with an attached lanyard must be worn when working from a boom or bucket. (Continued on next page)
- When using scissors-lifts that go straight up and down, only the use of a guardrail system is acceptable.
- When in an elevated basket or on a platform, workers must stand firmly on the deck, and cannot stand on ladders, planks, basket edges, guard rails, buckets, crates, or any other such device.
- Tying-off to an adjacent structure, poles, or equipment other than the boom or bucket being worked from is prohibited.
- Do not exceed manufacturer’s load limit specifications for equipment being used.
- Brakes must be set when lifts and outriggers are in use; if on an incline, chock-blocks should be used.
- Use extreme caution while operating the lift near power lines and electrical hazards.
- Unless specifically designed for such use, equipment should not be moved while a person is elevated.
- Scissor-Lifts, Ladder and Tower Trucks, or any other aerial equipment being readied for highway travel must have platforms, booms, and ladders completely retracted and securely “nested” or “cradled” and restrained in their traveling carriages or compartments with outriggers in the fully stowed position.
Other Important Considerations: Electrical testing of aerial operating system circuits must be performed as required. “Bursting Safety Factors” must be adhered to for all critical hydraulic and pneumatic components whose failure would result in a free-fall or free rotation. All welding repairs and modifications shall comply with “Standard Qualification of Welding Procedures”. With good training and proper application of these guidelines, safe aerial operations can be accomplished.