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  • Writer's pictureDan Visser

Know the hazards of an aerial lift: 5 safety tips

Aerial lifts are devices with extendable platforms used to elevate workers. These lifts are great for accessing high job sites like roofs and HVAC equipment, and they are an ideal alternative for hard-to-reach projects where scaffolding isn’t the best option. It’s essential, however, to keep safety a priority when operating these machines.

Aerial lift safety is of the utmost importance. Going through an aerial safety checklist is a great way to start incorporating safety into your workday. Recent statistics show that failing to address aerial lift hazards can cost you the ultimate price.

On average, about 26 construction workers lose their lives every year while using aerial lifts. Getting informed about aerial lift hazards and how to address them the right way is sometimes empowering and even lifesaving.

Know the hazards of an aerial lift 5 safety tips


Falls are the most prevalent and, at times, the most hazardous of all aerial lift dangers. Falls occur for a variety of causes, including:

● Lack of fall prevention equipment

● Working in high winds

● Working on unstable ground

● Moving an aerial lift while the platform is elevated

● Standing on the platform’s railing

● Work distractions

● Hitting objects


Electrocution is another of the most typical aerial lift risks. Although electrocution occurs less often than falls, it is nevertheless a significant risk for aerial lift operators and must be avoided!

Here’s how to avoid these types of scissor lift hazards:

To assist employees prevent electrocutions, OSHA publishes the following aerial lift safety guidelines:

● Aerial lifts should not be placed directly beneath live wires.

● Assume that all electricity lines are live.

● Maintain a 10-foot safety zone around overhead power wires.

● Wear insulated gloves, helmets, and other protective equipment.

● When feasible, turn off live electrical lines before beginning work.

● If aerial lift personnel feel there are electrocution hazards, they should not work until they are remedied. Workers may avoid dangerous working circumstances that might otherwise result in deadly electrical shocks.

Accidents involving electricity are dangerous, and employers must prepare for them. Employers must give aerial lift safety training to their employees in order to educate them about electrocutions and reduce risk on their job sites.

Aerial Lift Tip-Overs and Collapses

Employees and others are placed at risk when boom lifts tip or collapse. The following are some of the most typical causes of lift tip-overs and collapses:

● Failure to inspect an aerial lift before use

● Improper lift setup

● Placing the lift on sloping or unstable ground

● Working in high winds

● Too much weight on the platform

How to avoid tip-overs and improve aerial lift safety:

Before raising the platform of an aerial lift, always examine it. Set outriggers on pads or flat ground to keep the lift steady, and use outriggers to set the brakes. On slanted terrain, use wheel chocks as well.

Workers must adhere to the weight and reach limitations of an aerial lift. Aerial lifts should only travel when the lift is lowered and should never be used in inclement weather or heavy winds.

Being Hit with Falling Objects

Falling objects can strike workers near an aerial lift, as well as people on the ground. Objects can fall from a lift when:

● Workers are careless with tools or equipment

● High winds blow objects off the platform

● The platform strikes an object, which causes a piece to break off and fall

● Items fall off during a tip-over or collapse

Preventing this lift hazard:

To prevent falling objects, workers should not carry unstable loads or objects bigger than the aerial lift platform itself. All platform openings and gates should also remain closed while the lift is in the air.

Furthermore, employees should not use tools when moving an aerial lift. Ground workers should be mindful of their surroundings, avoid standing too near to the lift with the platform up, and wear hard helmets and other safety equipment.

Ejections from the Lift

Workers ejected from an aerial lift are susceptible to severe injuries or death. Aerial lift ejections can occur for a number of reasons, such as:

● The aerial lift platform strikes an overhead object

● A vehicle strikes the lift on the ground

● A tip-over or collapse

Avoid these aerial lift hazards with these tips and tricks:

Workers must ensure the aerial lift load is steady to avoid ejections. Setting up wheel chocks, outriggers, and brakes on a level surface is required.

Workers should also use signs, lights, and cones to demarcate a work zone. Workers should wear a full-body harness tied to a lanyard while operating an aerial lift near traffic.

Are You Protected Against These Manlift Hazards?

Now that you're aware of these manlift concerns, you may take precautions to safeguard your safety. Create an aerial lift safety risks checklist as your first step. Many aerial lift dangers may be avoided by doing an examination before work begins. You may also avoid accidents by ensuring that all personnel has the necessary qualifications and training.

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All products meet CSA, ANSI, and OHSA industry safety standards. Our industrial work platforms are assured to fulfill your demands, whether you are repairing recreational vehicles or doing airplane maintenance.

Interested in getting one of our specially designed worker containment systems that were created to provide safe access to service bus, RV and highway van rooftops?

Visit our website to learn more and see our other products.

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