Operating Aerial Work Platforms in Adverse Weather Conditions

Operating Aerial Work Platforms in Adverse Weather Conditions

Iron horses are truly affected by unfavorable weather conditions. Lifting operations may be hindered by strong wind, snow or rain. It is very important to consider weather forecast at the stage of preparing and planning lifting exercises. Works executed on a clear day are much safer. Let us now tell you about special weather conditions that can affect your ambitious plans involving operations with aerial platforms.

Strong wind

It’s important to maintain stability while making lifting operations on site. That is why, you need to think twice if you really should work on the day with excessive wind. Recommendations for the use of aerial work platforms on windy days are provided by manufacturers of this equipment themselves. Please, do not ignore suggestions for the highest admissible speed and blast of the wind, learn how to operate the machine in windy conditions, if you cannot avoid working under windy conditions.

Note that 7-9 m/s is the critical speed of the wind that endangers the work of boom lifts. At the higher blast of 11 m/s, you are highly recommended to scratch off the lift. While putting lifting operations off, land and secure all the loads, stow the boom until the moment when you resume operations.

You should also remember that wind is getting more intensive while the height is increasing. It matters where the wind originates from – for example, if it comes from behind the lift, it may bring about the load to be blown away at a remote distance, increasing the range and decreasing the limit of aerial boom equipment. Wind originating from the side of the lift may result in passing the load over vertical and thereby create an additional burden on the boom.

When you work between structures, operating the boom lift at excessive wind, it may be especially dangerous as you turn out to be “in the tunnel” situation. We recommend you to fix a wind speed indicator on the highest point of the boom then.

Low temperatures

Lifting exercises can be also affected by extreme cold. When the temperature drops beneath 10⁰F, you need to pay special attention to:

  • hydraulic mechanisms of an aerial platform;
  • stun stacking;
  • probable boom derating.

Malfunctions caused by these factors may create additional risks and delay in operations.

Other weather conditions

Rain, snow or haze may also result in hazardous situations on site and complicate lifting operations. Avoid working in very hot days, during showers, snowstorms and blizzards. If you cannot cancel operation on a day with adverse weather conditions, instruct the operator to stay highly concentrated at every stage of work till he lands the load safely on the ground. If the weather became bad, for example, it started to rain or snow, cease operations and slow the aerial platform. When the visibility restores, resume the work.

Rain and wind may affect rubbing components of the machine and make them non-effective. It’s important to let such components dry out before you start operations again.

Special guidelines for safe operation in adverse climate conditions

aerial-work-platform-weather-2 Operating Aerial Work Platforms in Adverse Weather Conditions

Remember it’s your responsibility to ensure that your worksite is free from known hazards. Such trivial hazard as rain may cause injuries or even someone’s death.

Extreme cold may also become the reason of health issues among operators of boom lifts, such as frostbite or hypothermia. Business owners need to take precautions and refrain from working on the days with awful weather. To minimize such risks and prepare for the work in challenging climate conditions, operators should be provided with adequate training.

Besides, it’s necessary to provide operators with warm clothes and protective accessories; to let them work at the clear and warm time of the day; let them work with a partner to reduce time spent outdoors. Choose warmer seasons for repair and maintenance operations and plan jobs for warmer parts of the day. Do not expose workers to very low temperatures, let them have intervals in working hours, drink hot tea or other recovering healthy beverages.

And finally, above all things, hire equipment and operators from reputable providers that conduct safety-related training courses for their teams and observe the regulations of OHSA.

At Alpha Platforms you will find excellent well-maintained boom lifts to perform a wide variety of industrial tasks, like bucket truck A-200’, truck mounted access platform 120’ for urban works or greatly versatile bucket truck A-150’.

People are the most valuable assets! Keep them safe and comfortable on site when they deal with aerial work platforms. Take care of those who risk their lives but do their job professionally and make your business prosper.



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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