Weekly Safety Meeting – Aerial Platform Safety

Aerial Platform Safety

Jobsites are not always at ground level. Sometimes workers need to use aerial platforms, aerial ladders, articulating boom platforms, vertical towers, or ladder trucks to reach their work.

All work has hazards and risks involved in it, but when you work at an elevated height, extra training and attention to safety procedures is a necessity.

Aerial lifts are vehicle-mounted, boom-supported aerial platforms, such as cherry pickers or bucket trucks, used to access utility lines and other aboveground job sites.

The major causes of fatalities are falls, electrocutions, and collapses or tip overs. Employers must take measures to ensure the safe use of aerial lifts by their workers if they are required to use this equipment in the course of their employment.

Operator training:

Whenever a user directs or authorizes an individual to operate an aerial platform, he shall ensure that the individual has been trained in accordance with the manufacturer’s operating and maintenance manual.

Before operation:

Before authorizing an operator to operate an aerial platform, the user shall ensure that the operator has:

  • Been instructed by a qualified person in the intended purpose and function of each control;

  • Read and understood the manufacturer’s operating instruction(s) and user’s safety rules or been trained by a qualified person on the contents of the manufacturer’s operating instruction(s) and user’s safety rules;

  • Understood by reading or by having a qualified person explain all decals, warnings, and instructions displayed on the aerial platform;

  • Determined that the purpose for which the aerial platform is to be used is within the scope of the intended applications defined by the manufacturer; and

  • Been provided with approved fall protection devices and other safety gear for all personnel in the platform.

Safe work practices:

  • Make sure that workers who operate aerial lifts are properly trained in the safe use of the equipment.

  • Maintain and operate elevating work platforms according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Never override hydraulic, mechanical, or electrical safety devices.

  • Never move the equipment with workers in an elevated platform unless this is permitted by the manufacturer.

  • Do not allow workers to position themselves between overhead hazards, such as joists and beams, and the rails of the basket. Movement of the lift could crush the worker(s).

  • Maintain a minimum clearance of at least 10 feet, or 3 meters, away from the nearest energized overhead lines.

  • Always treat power lines, wires, and other conductors as energized, even if they are down or appear to be insulated.

  • Use a body harness or restraining belt with a lanyard attached to the boom or basket to prevent the worker(s) from being ejected or pulled from the basket.

  • Set the brakes and use wheel chocks when on an incline.

  • Use outriggers, if provided.

  • Do not exceed the load limits of the equipment. Allow for the combined weight of the worker, tools and materials.

Used correctly, aerial work platforms can be priceless, timesaving assets. Operate them without regard to their limitations and this same equipment will put you and those around you, at undue risk.

Vertical Lift Operators…No Need For Speed…Safety First!! 


Download flyer: SMOTW_312_AerialPlatformSafety.pdf (115.27 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_312_AerialPlatformSafety_esp.pdf (106.75 kb)

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