Boom lifts are a useful and helpful piece of equipment for completing of many construction projects. Because of the size, scale, and structure of boom lifts and all aerial lifts, they can also pose substantial safety risks. By following some basic safety tips, you can help avoid serious injury. Safety is important to consider and implement when operating boom lifts and by practicing good safety habits, you can help prevent injuries, accidents, damage and liability concerns. Here are a few basic safety tips:
1. Review the Operator’s Manual.
Every boom lift and aerial lift has an operator’s manual stored on the lift. The operator should review the operator’s manual, so they are familiar with the lift controls, operation, safety practices, etc.
2. Hire, Train and Test Aerial Lift Operators
Employers need to make sure that aerial lift operators are trained how to safely use the equipment. It is recommended that training not take place in the field but in a controlled setting where employees can demonstrate their knowledge of the equipment safely.
3. Perform Pre-Use Inspection
Before the boom lift or any aerial lift is used, a pre-use inspection should be performed by the operator.
A basic walkthrough of the basic lift functions to ensure the equipment is functioning properly helps prevent a damaged lift from causing serious safety issues. Some things that should be checked are the tires/wheels, emergency controls for proper working condition, brakes, emergency lowering function, motion alarms, etc. Regularly performing pre-use inspections can help discover necessary repairs and helps remind personnel of the location and operation of safety features and functions.
4. Always Wear Protective Equipment
Always wear your safety harness and secure the lanyard to the designated location on the basket. Your harness helps lessen the risk of serious injury from a fall from the platform. Also, wear your other basic safety equipment such as your hard hat, safety glasses, steel-toe boots etc.
5. Keep a Clear Base and Circumference
Always check to make sure the base and entire circumference of the boom lift are clear of any personnel, other equipment or potential hazards. Knowing and checking your surroundings can help prevent injury to personnel working on the ground and to those working in the boom lift. This includes keeping your distance from power lines and wires.
6. Follow Capacity Limits
Each lift has a specified capacity limit issued by the manufacturer. These limits should be strictly followed. This not only includes the weight of the people on the lift but also includes all tools and materials on the lift.
When in doubt, always refer to your Operator’s Manual. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.