A boom lift is a type of AWP (aerial work platform) used by workers to reach specific heights. They are one of the most versatile aerial lifts that consist of a bucket/platform, with an extended connected crane function by a hydraulic lift system. Some boom lifts are also mounted on a van/truck, with the work platform that safely holds a worker to be able to do tasks at high elevations.
Boom lifts are used in various professions in day to day lives. For instance, they are used by firefighters in the events of the fire. They are commonly used for areas like construction, mining, window cleaning, cable repair, painting, and even in the film industry.
While boom lifts are one of the most useful equipment for many jobs, they pose some serious risk factors. Stats indicate that around 26 workers die at construction sites every year from using boom lifts. Electrocutions falls, caught-in/between, tip-overs, and collapses are some of the major boom lift accidents.
Without a comprehensive training and following safety practices, aerial lift accidents can present chronic injuries. If you don’t want to become a part of the devastating accidents and hazards statistics, then first understand the causes of these accidents.
Causes of Boom Lift Accidents
While the employers and employees follow every safety standard when it comes to operating boom lifts, deaths and Injuries still occur as per the OSHA report. Boom lift accidents can occur because of many reasons, including:
- Lack of focus
- Not following OSHA safety guidelines
- Lack of training
- Not wearing personal protective equipment
- Workers leaning on bucket rails
- The lift is not stable
- Using lifts in adverse weather conditions
- Ill-maintained lift
- Not inspected the lift
Why Is Aerial Lift Training Is Imperative?
Do you know employers in construction industries pay $1 billion/ week for worker’s compensation costs? The cost of illness and injuries include both direct and indirect cost. Direct costs consist of compensation payments, legal services costs, and medical expenses. Indirect costs include accident investigation, lost productivity, equipment damage repair, and costs linked with employee absenteeism.
Thus, to limit life-threatening injuries and costly expenses, OSHA has introduced a stringent policy associated with safety practices when working with aerial lifts. It’s quite straightforward to see why proper boom lift training is critical to such organizations.
Through the safety practices and aerial lift train the trainer certification, OSHA implements standard safety procedures, proper lift maintenance, providing safety gear for everyone on the worksite, and a lot more. The comprehensive training will reduce the chances of injury and will also save billions of dollars.
Preventing Boom Lift Accidents
OSHA implements safety guidelines to prevent boom lift accidents.
- Lanyard and harness should be worn by workers
- Lifts must be provided with guardrails
- Workers should not stand on rails and stand properly on the lift platform
Operate the Lift correctly
- Be mindful of load capacity
- Never put extremely heavy and large objects in the bucket
- Do not drive the lift with the platform raised
- Keep the platform within horizontal and vertical limits
- Do not operate the lift in windy and bad weather conditions
Paying attention to Overhead Obstructions
- Stay clear of overhead obstructions while positioning the boom lift
- Maintain a good distance from cables and power lines
- Be aware of power lines if they are live
Make sure the Boom Lift is stable
- Set brakes with outriggers on flat and stable surfaces
- Set wheel chocks on a sloped surface
- Mark warning zones with signs and cones
Boom Lift Training
To prevent accidents at work sites, boom lift training is crucial. It presents many safety techniques, including safe operation of telescopic boom lifts, scissor lifts, cherry pickers, and articulating boom lifts.
Anticipating and preventing accidents is apparently everyone’s leading interests. This means not only fewer fatalities and injuries, but also less equipment failure, reduced liabilities, and insurance costs, and increased productivity!