Contributor: Safesite Jurisdiction: OSHA
Aerial lift devices are the ideal way to reach higher trees as the equipment can make the job significantly easier and safer when used correctly.
1. An aerial lift is any vehicle-mounted device used to elevate personnel, including: • Extendable boom platforms, • Aerial ladders, • Articulating (jointed) boom platforms, • Vertical towers, and • Any combination of the above
2. Never operate any aerial lift device if missing any machine guards or warning devices.
3. The aerial device manufacturers’ instructions should be readily available and followed for all maintenance requirements and operation instructions.
4. Prior to daily use of any aerial device, complete a visual inspection (including for hydraulic leaks) and operation check in accordance with the equipment manufactures manual.
5. Only qualified, trained personnel are permitted to operate aerial devices.
6. All devices should be equipped with an approved point of attachment on which to secure a personal fall arrest system.
7. Operators shall wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment as specified in the equipment manual. Including but not limited to: fall protection hard hats (class E if working near electrical conductors), eye/face protection, leg protection when using a chainsaw, steel toed footwear, and hearing protection.
8. Aerial devices should not be used to lift or lower tree limbs or equipment unless designed to complete.
9. Operators of the aerial device should be in control of the work site and communicate directions to the ground person.
10. All Operators must know and practice aerial device rescue and escape procedures annually.
11. All buckets must contain a hand line of adequate length to be used in aerial device rescues.
12. When transferring between an aerial device to a tree or to another aerial device, the climber must be secured with a fall restraint system.
13. Wheel chocks should be set prior to an aerial device is used. If equipped, the units outriggers should be used in accordance with the manufactures instructions.
14. Boom, buckets, or any other parts of the aerial device should not make contact or violate minimum approach distances of electrical conductors or poles. Kept at least 10 feet away from power lines and other electric equipment (for lines and equipment over 50 kV, the distance should be 10 feet plus 4 inches for every 10 kV over 50 kV.)
15. When operating an aerial device, the operator should look in the direction that the bucket is traveling and be aware of the boom's location in reference to and any hazards.
16. Combined loads of the equipment should exceed rated capacities. These capacities are required to posted on the equipment for reference.
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