Are you looking to use a boom lift to access high work areas? Improper use of a boom lift is dangerous and can even lead to loss of lives. Some of the common hazards associated with operating this type of aerial elevating platform are falls from height, collapses, tip-overs and electrocutions. Taking the appropriate safety measures is vital for preventing injuries or deaths resulting from boom lift operations.
Follow this general safety guide to ensure the safety of those involved in work requiring the use of a boom lift.
Evaluate hazards associated with the job and site
Identifying potential hazards that may arise during boom lift operations beforehand is a critical part of project risk management. Knowing what hazards to expect and taking the appropriate actions to minimise the risk of those hazards happening sets the basis for maintaining proper operational safety at your site.
If there are overhead power lines at or near the worksite, for example, you'll need to ensure work is done a safe distance away from the power lines to minimise the risk of electrocution.
Employ trained lift operators
Boom lifts are heavy industrial equipment that require expert handling and operation. To ensure the recommended safety practices will be followed when operating the equipment, you need to hire someone trained and experienced in the proper operation of the equipment.
Your equipment operators should not only be qualified for the job, but should also demonstrate their ability to operate the piece of equipment. Give potential candidates hands-on assignments that show their operational knowledge of the equipment.
Adhere to weight limits
This may seem like an obvious thing, but it can never be overstated. Some boom lift users often forget that the manufacturer's capacity limit for each unit includes the weight of all of the tools and materials, aside from the weight of the people working on the platform.
Failure to adhere to these limits could potentially cause the lift to tip over or collapse. Always consider the combined weight of all of the people, tools and materials on the platform before operating the lift. Keep in mind that boom lifts are not designed for lifting and moving heavy objects like cranes.
Provide lift operators and other staff with personal protective equipment (PPE)
Providing lift operators and other staff working around the elevating lifting platforms with PPE is mandatory. Some common pieces of protective equipment that your workers may need to wear include hard hats, safety vests, safety glasses, and safety boots.
Aside from these general safety guidelines, there are other safety precautions that should be taken before operating a boom lift. Make sure you learn everything you need to know about operational safety of boom lifts before embarking on any work requiring use of the equipment.