Boom lifts are critical machinery in industries ranging from construction and agriculture to facilities maintenance and logistics. They’re designed to raise and maneuver work platforms so workers can reach hard-to-access areas and lift tools and supplies. There are different boom lift makes and models, each with their own differences in height and weight limitations. Using this equipment has some obvious risks, so it’s important to choose the proper type for a particular use case and ensure that workers are trained to safely operate the boom lift.
Potential Safety Hazards
Preventing boom lift accidents requires you to minimize the risk of supplies or workers falling from the platform and keep the area around the equipment clear to further prevent property damage and injuries. The work location should provide a flat, stable surface that keeps the boom lift properly balanced. An unbalanced lift can create unwanted leverage and tip the equipment. Additionally, the clearance area around the lift should be marked and visible to everyone.
How to Avoid Safety Hazards During Operation
Only Work Under Safe Conditions
Individuals who will be working on the lift should follow typical safety procedures. This includes putting on a secured safety harness before the lift is raised and checking all the clasps and connectors. Workers should stay inside the bucket or on the platform to reduce the risk of falling. If the boom lift is being operated outdoors, check the weather conditions beforehand to avoid operating the equipment in strong winds or during a storm.
Follow the Owner’s Manual
The boom lift manual has a lot of useful information on how to operate the lift safely. One key piece of information to be aware of is the maximum weight allowance. Exceeding the design weight can put undue force on the end of the boom, causing instability or damage to the machinery. Understanding the limitations of a particular make and model and staying within them will help keep your crew and equipment safe.
Provide Operator Training
One of the most important ways to ensure safety is to limit boom lift usage to those with proper training. These operators should have up-to-date certifications for that type of lift. A well-trained and experienced operator will know to follow many of the safety tips above.
Boom Lift Operating Checklist
The first step before operating a boom lift is to make sure it’s safe to do so. Following a safety checklist ensures you don’t miss or overlook any important steps. The checklist should include:
- Inspecting the machinery for secure fasteners, cables, and guardrails
- Verifying that the steering, brakes, and engine are operational
- Testing the backup system and emergency controls
- Making sure the tires are in good shape and are properly inflated
- Checking the fluid levels and lift system
- Confirming there are no hazards in the path of the lift and boom and that the clearance area is properly marked
The manual for your specific model may have additional recommendations for inspections before each use and more in-depth periodic inspections.
Operating Your Boom Lift
Boom lifts may vary in exact operation depending on the style, make, and model, so always consult the manual and any other training documents to determine the proper way to operate your equipment. This is a general outline of how a boom lift is used:
- Engage the safety mechanisms, such as a kill switch and outriggers, and a parking brake and wheel chocks to ensure the vehicle won’t move.
- The workers can harness themselves into the work platform and ensure that anything being lifted with them is properly secured.
- Latch the gate to the platform and disengage the kill switch.
- Use the boom lift’s joystick to control the boom elevation, yaw, and tilt. There may also be settings for extending the boom if the lift has this functionality built in. The operator will also use the joystick to bring the boom back to its starting position.
- Be mindful of where the boom is translating, and take care to avoid any obstacles or hazardous areas.
If you’re looking to benefit from the utility a boom lift provides, Aerial Titans has the stock and expertise to help find just the right machine for your particular use case. Our inventory includes telescopic and articulating booms, as well as self-drive, towable, and tracked drive models. These categories span a wide range of lift heights and weight capacities to ensure coverage for every job.We offer new and used equipment, plus convenient financing, to help you find equipment that fits your needs and budget. Find the right machine for the job and contact our sales office to learn more.