The use of an aerial platform for work at height is becoming increasingly more common as it is a safe way to access the zone where the work is to be carried out. Accidents are still too common, especially with ladders or scaffolding, and falls from heights are always serious. It is therefore always very important to follow the safety precautions and to keep up to date with good practices highlighted by organizations such as OSHA, HSE
However, when an injury happens while working at height, whether they are using a boom lift or a scissor lift to try and stop this, we would like to warn you about the 4 biggest causes of boom lift accidents:
- Electrocution accidents
According to the last data from Electrical Safety Foundation International, the number of operators electrocuted in the construction industry rose around 20% year over year. Electrocutions occur when workers make contact with overhead power lines. They can also happen when a lift makes contact with a power line.
However, it is quite possible for aerial work platform operators to significantly reduce the risk of electrocution by increasing their knowledge of the subject.
- Fall accidents
Falls from aerial work platforms are one of the main causes of fatal accidents, according to the IPAF reports. They are most likely to occur when the operator does not respect basic safety rules. Climbing on the guardrails, leaning off the platform or trying to get off the platform at height is dangerous and against the recommendations!
To prevent this, respect the basic safety rules and remember that wearing personal protective equipment is strongly recommended. Please read our article on the use of a safety harness.
- Aerial work platform Tip-Overs
You can be sure that this is a very rare event, the Klubb lifts have enough electronics to tell you when there is a problem (basket overload, stop when you reach the maximum offset)...
To avoid any risk we strongly recommend to never :
– Installing an aerial lift in a crowded space
– Exceed load capacity limits
– Raise a platform in too windy conditions
With proper training, operators can easily identify and avoid aerial work platform tip-over hazards and other kinds of workplace dangers.
- Operator is getting caught
One of the biggest causes of injury identified is also when the operator gets caught between the basket of the aerial work platform and an external object such as a lamp post or a wall.
To reduce the risk of this happening to you, we recommend that you carry out an inspection of the aerial work platform that is going to be used and also an inspection of the work site and of course the equipment that you are going to use to work.
Stay safe during work at height when using an aerial work platform is essential:
Aerial platform operators must be prepared for accidents. A clear understanding of aerial lift hazards ensures operators can guard against them.
In addition, when operating a lift, workers must ensure that:
– Access gates are closed.
– The body harness or restraining belt is attached to the boom or bucket with a lanyard.
– They are standing firmly on the floor of the bucket.
– They avoid leaning on the railings and especially not climbing them
How can employers ensure that their workers can properly operating an aerial work platform?
It's not just about having the best equipment; it's about ensuring your team can use it effectively. When it comes to operating aerial work platforms (AWPs), we can't stress enough the importance of thorough training. By providing your workers with the necessary knowledge, you can not only increase productivity but also reduce the risk of accidents.