Aerial Lift Safety
How do we safely transition from an aerial lift to another work platform?
Individuals are only allowed to exit or enter a lift basket to/from an elevated surface if ALL of the following conditions are met:
- The basket is positioned so that it rests on or is immediately adjacent to the elevated surface;
- 100% fall protection is maintained at all times, i.e., the individual must properly tie-off at the elevated surface before disconnecting from the basket when exiting and, on entering, the individual must tie-off to the basket anchorage before disconnecting from the elevated surface anchorage.
- At no time can an employee climb onto or climb over the guardrails of the basket to gain access – entry and exit must be through the basket gate.
- The anchor points of the basket and the elevated surface must meet OSHA requirements for acceptable anchorage for fall protection, e.g., it shall be capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per employee attached, etc.
- No other means of fixed access exists, such as stairs or a fixed ladder.
- Baskets are either dual manned with one operator remaining in the basket at all times, or a spotter is assigned who can access the ground level controls in an emergency.
Other requirements when working from an aerial lift:
- Complete a Pre-Use inspection checklist prior to every use.
- Always use a spotter when moving into process units.
- Never exceed the basket weight limit.
- A harness must be used at all times while in the lift basket.
- When the lift is stationary and in use on roadways, warning cones must be placed.
- When the basket is occupied, use of ground controls is restricted to emergency situations only.
- Use caution outside of normal level surfaces.
- Before welding from a lift, care must be taken to cover hydraulic lines and the fuel tank with fire blankets to keep the fuel tank out of the spark pattern as much as possible; and to remove or cover combustible materials within 35 feet of the welding operation.