Boom lifts are used in the construction and maintenance industry for working at height – often for carrying out installation or maintenance work. They can be electric or engine-powered and all operators should be trained to use them, as they can take workers to heights of up to 13.5 metres.
When using elevated work platforms of any kind there is the potential for serious injury or even death if the lift is not used properly. You could fall from height, be electrocuted by overhead cables or faulty lift controls, be injured by a tip-over or crushed.
Safe use of boom lifts
Anyone using a boom lift should be trained and authorised to do so; they should also be familiar with the operator’s manual for the type of lift used. It’s important that operators understand which factors could affect the stability of the lift and how much weight can be placed on the platform – the boom lift’s capacity can be found in the operator’s manual and on the data plate. Overloading the lift could cause it to tip over. Following these safety tips will reduce your risk of accidents when using a boom lift:
- You should inspect the area before using the lift – check for overhead obstructions such as power cables.
- Never travel from one area to another with the platform raised as this can affect stability.
- Stay a safe distance from ramps or holes which could cause you to overturn.
- You should always carry out a pre-operation inspection before each use and a functional test after the visual inspection.
- Let your co-workers know when you intend to move the vehicle, and check nobody is around or under the lift.
- Always maintain 3 points of contact when climbing onto the platform.
- You should use cones to mark your work area – bear in mind the swing radius of the boom.
- Keep your arms and hands inside the rails when lowering or raising the platform. When passing solid objects, a pinch point is created and you could be seriously injured.
- Those using an articulating boom lift should always wear a lanyard and harness to prevent going over the rail; this equipment should be regularly inspected.
You should be properly trained to ensure you know how to use a boom lift safely, reducing the risk of injury to yourself and others.
Accidents involving boom lifts
If you’re injured whilst operating a boom lift, or whilst someone else is operating one, you could claim for accident compensation. Get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline – our team of specialist personal injury lawyers will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Call free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no-obligation advice about making a claim.
Date Published: March 3, 2014
Author: David Brown