Aerial Lift Safety

Elevating Work Platforms

The major causes of injuries and fatalities involving elevating work platforms are falls, electrocutions, collapses and tip-overs.

  • Aerial Lifts
  • Manually propelled elevating work platforms that cannot be positioned completely beyond the base
  • Self-propelled elevating work platforms that have a platform that cannot be positioned completely beyond the base
  • Boom-supported elevating work platforms that have a boom-supported platform that can be positioned completely beyond the base

Safe work practices

  • Only trained operators are allowed to use aerial lifts
  • Conduct a pre-job inspection of equipment and surroundings.
  • Ensure that platforms used to elevate workers are in good condition and meet the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Provide workers with necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and ensuring effective use.
  • Only use elevating platforms which have been built to safe specifications

Before and During Use

  • You must set the brakes and make sure outriggers , when used, are positioned on pads or a solid surface
  • You must install wheel chocks when using the aerial lift on an incline if they can be installed safely.

Moving an Aerial Lift

You must make sure that the boom is properly cradled and the outriggers are in the stowed position before moving the aerial lift. EXEMPTION: The aerial lift may be moved with the boom elevated and personnel on the platform only if the equipment was specifically designed for this type of purpose.

Conducting Work from the Platform

WAC 296-869-20045

  • You must make sure boom and platform load limits specified by the manufacturer are not exceeded.
  • You must make sure that persons stand firmly on the floor of the platform and do NOT: sit or climb on the edge of the platform, or, use guardrails, planks, ladders, or any other device to gain additional height or reach
  • You must prohibit wearing climbers with working from the platform
  • You must make sure all persons on the platform wear a full body harness with a lanyard attached to either: the manufacturer’s recommended attachment point, the boom or platform if the manufacturer does not specify an attachment point.
  • You must never attach a lanyard to an adjacent pole, structure, or equipment

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • What is the best way to protect workers below or around the lift?