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Aerial Lift Safety in Tree Care

Contributor: Safesite HQ 2 Jurisdiction: General


Use this safety meeting to go over safety while working in an aerial lift.

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Aerial Lift Safety in Tree Care

1. It's easy to run into potential problems during work, especially when working up high in an aerial lift. Secure yourself to the work platform or bucket to prevent falling from heights and other hazards.

2. The most important safety of any mobile equipment is proper training. Operators must go through safety and operations training before they can operate. Retraining is also important as bad habits can be learned over time.

3. Conduct a daily equipment inspection or after each shift when used on multiple shifts. This includes both a visual and physical inspection. If deficiencies are found during the inspection, tag the lift out of service until repairs can be made.

4. Most aerial lifts are only approved for use in wind speeds under 25 mph so check the weather report and consider a wind sock at your worksite.

5. Before operations, ensure the weight of yourself, tools, harness, and any other equipment does not exceed the safe working load of the lift.

6. The fall protection harness should be worn when operating with the lifeline attached to the approved anchorage point, even while traveling. When you get to your destination, only tie off to an approved anchor point.

7. Always conduct a pre-work area inspection. Be on the lookout for power lines and other utilities, trees or limbs that are above power lines, and ground stability to prevent tipping over. A spotter is required when there is a potential to violate the MAD.

8. When completing a pre-work area inspection, check that the ground is level and stable. Put out outrigger pads for the outriggers on a level and stable surface. This gives the aerial lift the support it needs.

9. If you're working on the ground, you should never approach an operator unless they acknowledge your presence and stop operations. Give a wave and wait for a nod of acknowledgement from your operator before continuing on. Communication methods should be established before starting work.

10. High vis clothing and PPE should be worn so operators can see personnel in the area. Before operations check that garments are clean and well maintained.

11. Avoid cell phones and other potential distractions when operating equipment.

12. What other ways can we safely work from height in an aerial lift bucket or platform?

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