Aerial Lift Safety

About 26 construction workers die each year from using aerial lifts. More than half of the deaths involve boom-supported lifts, such as bucket trucks and cherry pickers; most of the other deaths involve scissor lifts. Electrocutions, falls, and tipovers cause most of the deaths. Other causes include being caught between the lift bucket or guardrail and object (such as steel beams or joists) and being struck by falling objects. (A worker can also be catapulted out of a bucket, if the boom or bucket is struck by something.) Most of the workers killed are electricians, laborers, painters, ironworkers, or carpenters.

OSHA states that all employees that operate aerial lifts (scissor lifts, boom lifts, bucket trucks, articulating boom platforms, etc.) shall be trained and authorized by their employer prior to operating the equipment. The training shall include, at a minimum, demonstrated proficiency in operating the equipment. Training documentation shall be maintained by the employer.

Providence College complies with OSHA regulations by training all employees who are expected to operate any type of aerial lift. Providence College also requires any outside contractor who operates aerial lifts on campus to show evidence of training prior to beginning their work. Also, prior to renting an aerial lift, the renter should be sure the lift is properly inspected and serviced before rental; be sure that operator and maintenance manuals are provided; and be sure that the operator controls are easy to read and properly marked.

If you have any questions about operating aerial lifts on campus, contact the Office of Environmental, Health and Safety. For more information on OSHA regulations or aerial lift safety in general, click on the links below.

OSHA 1926.453- Aerial Lifts

Aerial Lift Safety in Construction