Staying Safe at All Times: Always Follow These 3 Safety Measures When Operating Aerial Lifts

Operating aerial lifts has its share of risks to the lives of construction workers including fatalities from tip overs/collapses, falls or electrocutions. There are a number of safety measures however that can significantly reduce the risks associated with these vehicle-mounted aerial platforms used to access aboveground job sites such as utility lines. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, has set aside about 10 key safety guidelines for operating aerial lifts. In this writeup, we provide three main safety measures that you cannot afford to ignore when operating the lifts. 

  1. Get the requisite training and test before you operate aerial lifts 

Employers are under obligation to hire only well trained aerial lift operators, train and test them on the safety procedures before allowing them to operate. However, this is not solely the responsibility of the employer, the operator needs to also do their part to ensure they are well-honed for the task. 

In this regard, it helps to have the new hire demonstrate their mastery before going in the field to operate the equipment. 

Overall, both the employer and the employee should be well versed in the aerial lift operator safety measures. The employer will be able to make the right choice of workers and minimize equipment damage, while employees can remain safe each time they are handing these types of equipment. 

  1. Always wear full protective gear 

Like in any industrial setting, wearing your hard hat will keep your head safe, safety glasses are designed to protect your eyes, steel-toe boots protect your feet in case something falls on them and sturdy gloves keep your hands safe from cuts, burns and even electrical shock. 

You are also required to wear the right clothing and use a restraining belt or body harness with a lanyard attached to the basket or boom. This is important and will prevent you from being ejected or pulled from the basket should anything happen or if you tip over. 

If you encounter any sort of accident, a full protective equipment can be a huge lifesaver. They can also help minimize room for injuries in cases of minor accidents. 

Bonus: Avoid wearing loose clothing and pull back long hair as both could get caught in various parts of the aerial lift.

  1. Inspect the equipment before using it 

Some of the preventable aerial lift accidents occur because of neglecting to ascertain that everything is in order prior to use. Every type of aerial lift comes with a variety of cords, cables, pulleys and chains that are designed to work together. Always ensure you visually inspect each of these components to ascertain that everything checks out. Anything loose or out of place should be fixed before commencing operations. 

Manufacturers and leading retailers like High Reach 2 also emphasize the need to inspect tires, casters and wheels; as well as setting a solid foundation for safe movement of the aerial lift. Also, just before getting onto the bucket or platform, be sure to test the controls on site to ensure they’re working properly. 


Operators of aerial lift equipment face a myriad of safety challenges when they are overhead, and no less when they’re on the ground. Nonetheless, observing these safety measures should help mitigate the risks involved in conducting your work high in the air on these fairly small operating platforms. 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top