Elevated Lift Hazards
Elevated Lift hazards
Elevated lifts allow users to access heights otherwise inaccessible. They are extensively used in construction and maintenance work including wall sawing, fixing power lines, professional window cleaning, wood work, industrial painting, and ironwork.
Data reveals that as many as 26 fatal accidents occur every year due to some mishap with elevated lifts (1). Boom-supported and scissor lifts are involved in most of these deaths which typically occur due to tip-overs, electrocutions, falling objects, improperly fixed scaffolds, workers getting caught between near by beams, and bending over guardrails.
Simple loss prevention guidelines ensure health and safety of elevated lift users.
Before Operating an Aerial Lift
- Provide extensive training to everyone right from lift operators to supervisors and managers. Workers should be retrained if lift specifications are altered.
Check the functioning of lift controls and safety gear. If using hydraulic lifts, ascertain non- occurrence of any leaks.
Make sure the scaffolds installed at site are sufficiently strong.
Go through manufacturer guidelines and safety checklists.
Adjust the lift according to specific requirements of the task to be completed.
Confirm that the lift bucket used is sturdy enough to lift the desired weight. For instance, the raised platform used for wall sawing should be able to carry weight of the construction worker, necessary equipment and removed part of the wall. In comparison, somewhat lighter basket may be used for fixing malfunctioning lines.
Inspect the work site. Erecting an elevated lift on uneven surface is a sure shot recipe for disaster.
Use wheel chocks when working on a slope. If necessary, use outriggers too.
Restrict unsolicited entry by placing cones and appropriate signs. Consider barricading the
area if the elevated lift is to be used for a long term.
Conduct regular inspections of scaffolds and aerial lifts.
Lift renting companies should service the lift before renting it out. They should make clients aware of relevant safety measures and precautions.
When Using an Aerial Lift
- Do not exceed manufacturer recommended limits.
Do not tip or lean over the guardrails.
Avoid sudden/fast movements which may set lift bucket in motion.
Do not move the lift if its elevated platform is occupied.
Wear a body harness securely attached to the bucket.
Maintain a minimum distance of 10 feet from nearby power lines unless the lift is being used for electricity related tasks.
- Follow appropriate measures when taking care of electrical activity.
After the lift has been used, workers should document even the trivial incidents that may have gone awry when using the lift. At Rice General, a leading environmental construction company, we take all safety measures when using elevated lifts.
- eLCOSH: Hazard Alert – Aerial Lift Safety, as on January 15, 2010.