Aerial Lift Safety

If proper aerial lift safety is not followed at all times it could result in a fatality – a fall, electrocution, collapse or tip over. All employees who operate aerial lifts (also boom-supported aerial platforms, including cherry pickers or bucket trucks) should be properly trained to be sure they are always safe while using this equipment. Other safe practices include:

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Do not override electrical, hydraulic, or mechanical safety devices.
  • Unless permitted by the manufacturer, never move equipment with workers in an elevated platform.
  • Always inspect equipment and ensure lift platform chains or doors are closed before operating.
  • Cones or signs should be present if working near traffic.
  • All non-electrical workers should be at least 10 feet from overhead power lines.
  • OSHA requires a full-body harness or a positioning device on bucket trucks or boom-supported lifts in order to prevent falls. If there is an anchorage inside the bucket, OSHA will accept a positioning device (belt) with a short lanyard.
  • Make sure brakes are set. When on an incline, use wheel chocks.
  • Outriggers should be used when provided.
  • Ensure the load limit of the equipment is not exceeded—take the weight of the operator, tools, and materials into consideration too.
  • Assume all power lines, wires, or other conductors are energized.