a) Purpose. The purpose of the aerial lift program is to ensure that all tasks requiring the use of aerial lifts are conducted in a safe manner to reduce or minimize personnel injury and/or property damage.
b) Scope. Using aerial lifts on the job can make the completion of a task at elevations safer and more efficient. Unsafe use while operating an aerial lift may result in property damage, serious injury and even death. This program outlines the general use and requirements of aerial lift use. The ESCO Aerial Lift program applies to all employees that use aerial lifts to complete their work.
i. ESCO Group Employees.
1. Make sure that the Operator’s manual and the ANSI manuals are in the storage container. If either of these is missing, contact the ESCO Shop and they will provide replacements. Operators must take time to review the operating instructions and safety guidelines of that particular lift. No modifications are to be made to equipment without prior approval from the manufacturer.
2. Operators must know the maximum lifting capacity of the lift; this shall be posted on the lift. The maximum lifting capacity includes the employees, their tools and any material they may have on the lift. The maximum capacity must not be exceeded at any time.
3. Employees shall keep both feet firmly on the floor of the lift or basket at all times. The working height of a lift shall never be extended by standing on the mid-rail, top rail, using a ladder or other makeshift devices.
4. Employees working in an articulating boom lift must wear a full body harness and a lanyard attached to the attachment point in the lift at all times. If working on a site that requires fall protection to be worn in a scissors lift, you must comply with the site specific requirements. There must be an approved attachment point on the scissor lift when securing a lanyard, do not attach a lanyard to the mid-rail or top rail of a scissors lift.
5. If a lift is used above or in the proximity of pedestrians or others workers, employees need to take the necessary precautions to isolate the work area and provide an alternate route. Danger signs and tape or caution signs and tape may be used to create the barrier. Signs must be used to state the alternate path. All equipment shall be provided with an operational back-up alarm or have a spotter when operating in reverse mode.
6. Lift tip-over can occur when operating a lift on uneven or soft ground. Exceeding the lift capacity may also cause a tip-over or lift being struck by another vehicle. Use the lift for only what is was designed for and that is allowing a person to access heights above. Do not use the lift as a crane or a wire/cable pulling device. We must follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for allowable wind speed while using a lift. Check the manufacturer’s serial number plate on the lift or operator’s manual for allowable wind speed. Typically the maximum allowable wind speed while using a lift is 28 mph.
7. When operating a lift never position yourself or another person between overhead hazards such as roof joists or other structural members. Accidental movement may create a crushing hazard. Operators must also be aware of other hazards or obstacles:
a. Other vehicles/equipment
b. Drop offs
c. Trenches and excavations
d. Overhead power lines (minimum clearance between equipment and overhead electrical lines is 10’)
e. Overhead cranes
f. Operators shall be familiar with the auxiliary controls so that the platform or basket can be safely lowered to the ground in the event that the platform controls fail or the operator is unable to use the controls. Never attempt to crawl out of the lift or down the boom in the event of mechanical failure. Ground controls shall only be used by an authorized operator only in the case of an emergency and with the permission of the operator in the basket or on the platform unless he/she is unconscious.
d) Equipment Inspection.
i. Prior to operating an aerial lift it must be inspected. Follow the pre-use inspection sheet outline located in the black plastic box or the PVC tube located on the platform of the equipment. Record the inspection on the sheet and note any defects. Report any defects to your supervisor and do not use the lift until repairs have been made.
e) Job Site Inspection.
i. Inspect the work area prior to operating an aerial lift. If working in an area where there will be pedestrian traffic or other vehicles, precautions must be put in place to protect the pedestrians or protect the lift form being struck by other vehicles. Here is a list of items that employees must be looking for while performing a job site inspection:
1. Driving surfaces
2. Pedestrian traffic
3. Forklift traffic
4. Vehicle Traffic
5. Trenches and pits
6. Ramps and drop offs
8. Hole covers
9. Overhead power lines
i. One of the important parts of an aerial lift program is training. Only trained and authorized employees are permitted to operate aerial lifts. All employees that operate aerial lifts must attend and successfully complete an operator training program. Training should be conducted in a classroom setting and include a written test and operator proficiency on articulating boom lift and scissors lift. Refresher training will be conducted every three years through a proficiency test while operating the equipment.
i. In the case of emergencies, where the lifts mechanically break down and/or people fall and/or a medical emergency arises we have implemented self-rescue plans and/or assisted/aided rescue plans. In scenarios where suspension trauma straps are feasible, they will be attached to harnesses at all times. If an employee has fallen out of an aerial lift, self-rescue will be the first act for employees to perform. If self-rescue is not feasible, then assisted rescue with ladder, additional lift or aided rescue plans should be implemented by the supervisor and employees prior to the employees performing work.
ii. In the event of aerial lift failure, employees should utilize the systems that are available for manually lowering/descending the lift.