This year, GBCA is participating in OSHA’s Focus Four Campaign, providing resources to avoid incidents involving OSHA’s Focus Four hazards. This week’s toolbox talk is about preventing falls from aerial lifts. Scroll down to read it. Click below to download it as a printable Toolbox Talk.

Preventing Falls from Aerial Lifts

Consider the following questions and answers:

  • What are the hazards?
    • Falls due to work with aerial lifts
  • What are the results?
    • Broken bones, internal damage, death
  • What should we look for?
    • Equipment damaged or used other than intended, untrained operators, lack of fall protection, overloaded equipment, workers standing on guardrails, ladders on the platform, unlevel or unstable surface, or improper driving.

Actual Incident:

West Chester, PA: An employee was installing gutters along the edge of a roof. The employee was fastening the gutters using a screw gun. The employee was using an articulating boom aerial lift as a means to fasten the gutters and to access the roof to complete the installation. While climbing out of the lift to access the roof, the employee fell 40 feet to the ground. The employee was permanently disabled.

Fall Protection While Operating an Aerial Lift

  • Ensure that access gates or openings are closed.
  • Stand firmly on the floor of the bucket or lift platform.
  • Do not climb on or lean over guardrails or handrails.
  • Do not use planks, ladders, or other devices as a working position.
  • Use a full-body harness with a lanyard attached to the boom or bucket.
  • Do not belt-off to adjacent structures or poles while in the bucket.

Ask the following questions about lifts used on this site and ensure every item is covered. Let’s talk about this site now:

  • Have you received formal training on the safe operation of aerial lifts?
  • How do you sign up for training? Who conducts the training?
  • Demonstrate how to inspect equipment (move group to equipment for demonstration).
  • Is fall protection available for use with aerial lifts? Do you use a fall arrest or fall restaint system?
  • How do you select the proper equipment?