How To Stay Safe While Using Boom Lifts

June 02 2018
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Choosing the best boom lift for your project is not the only thing to consider before the work starts. Even the most experienced boom lift operators can’t keep the workers safe when they are doing their job at heights.
While such experts as window cleaners and painters get special training for working on high-rise buildings, not many of them realize that exploiting a boom lift requires extra caution.
There are two common types of boom lifts used today: telescopic and articulating. Both of them have similar working principles. The former can extend it’s “arm” up to 120 feet at virtually all angles. The latter has several sections, which help with getting to hard-to-reach places.
No matter which type of boom lift you choose, each type is considered heavy equipment, which requires special attention and intensified safety measures.
Common Safety Issues While Using Boom Lifts
The most common boom lift-related safety issues have to do with electrocution, falls, and overturned equipment. The reasons range from choosing the wrong equipment for the job to lack of experience and/or attention.
11 Tips To Keep You Safe On A Boom Lift
1. If you see that the boom lift seems to be malfunctioning or slightly damaged, avoid using it and let the operator know about your suspicions.
2. Don’t avoid wearing the necessary protective gear, such as hard hats, steel-toe boots, safety glasses, and gloves.
3. Always ask the operator to test the aerial lift before starting the operation. Make sure it’s in a working condition.
4. While working on the boom lift, make sure your feet are always firmly planted on the platform. Keep your balance at all times.
5. When the boom lift is raising or lowering the platform, be extra careful. Make sure you can take hold of the railing.
6. Consider refusing to use a boom lift when the weather conditions are unfavorable, such as strong winds and heavy rains.
7. Don’t use the boom lift as a lifting device. Never use any heavy machinery for the purposes it’s not designed for.
8. Don’t take ladders, scaffolding, chairs or any other tools to help you gain extra height when on a boom lift platform.
9. Don’t try to sit on the edge of an elevated platform.
10. Always pay attention to the area around you. The path of travel is not always safe due to obstacles, debris, holes, etc. Pay close attention to overhead hazards.
11. Be extra careful about watching the power lines.

WHAT IS IPAF

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information; through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards; and through safety initiatives and training programmes. IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users. IPAF members operate a majority of the MEWP rental fleet worldwide and manufacture about 85% of platforms on the market.
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