In the construction industry, the primary equipment used by construction workers for aerial lifts is a bucket truck with the boom effectively substituting for the ladder to reach tall heights. Falling hazards are the top danger that every bucket lift operator faces. For this reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that every building company meet minimum safety standards for this truck on the work-site. Meeting these standards requires that every operator undergo proper training before using an aerial lift.
Even with all of these requirements and safety regulations, falling accidents on work sites continues as the major cause of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. Finger-pointing does not bring any positive results; it is better to recognize that supervisors and operators must educate themselves to meet the minimum inspection requirements for overall worker protection from harm.
OSHA states in rule number 1929.453(b)(2)(xii) that inspections should be done on the boom to be sure it is properly cradled and outriggers are properly placed. OSHA also requires in rule number 1926.453(b)(3), that operators are responsible for performing electrical tests that abide with the outlined provisions of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Both of these rules obligate companies to perform these inspections in a manner that will detect malfunctions and defaults in any bucket truck parts to avoid injuries at the work site.
Wearing protective safety gear must be strictly implemented for operators who will perform aerial tasks in this vehicle. Either the restraining belt or body harness must be attached to the boom to prevent falling. If the worker is accidentally tossed to the edge of the boom, the safety harness or the restraining belt will hold the person and prevent falling. When working with the lift, employees should stand firmly on the bucket floor and never climb or sit on the edge of the bucket.
OSHA requires that bucket trucks should only be operated by authorized individuals. These employees must be well-trained in order to operate the equipment safely. No other employees should be allowed to operate this vehicle in any way without the completed training and certification that is required by regulatory agencies and the owning business.
Minimum Power Line Clearance
Operators can be exposed to other hazards such as electrocution when working at great heights. OSHA requires workers to maintain a ten-foot minimum clearance from electric power lines. They must also treat any other lines in their near vicinity as live electric wires for maximum protection. If possible, the local power company should be asked for assistance if the particular job to be done does not meet the minimum clearance requirements.
To prevent movement during any aerial task or any time that the boom is extended, workers must have brakes properly set. Chocks should also be placed on wheels when the truck is situated in an inclined position.
Even in the fast-paced environment of the construction industry, safety should be given the highest priority. Accidents happen at work sites that could result in serious injuries or even death. At the very least, any type of accident could cause a delay in the company’s work schedule. It is imperative that operators make sure before they begin their next operation that the vehicles meet the minimum bucket truck inspection requirements – this cannot be overlooked!