Bucket trucks, as well as boom and scissor lifts, are certainly standard equipment for many industries, but the frequency with which they are used and the pace at which jobs must be completed ramp up around the holidays. From unloading merchandise to stocking the stores and installing and repairing extra electrical lines during the Christmas season, aerial safety is of utmost importance. Following rigid, but easy-to-implement safety protocols will ensure your workers will be home (and healthy) for the holidays.
We’ve discussed in previous blogs how expertise in a job role or operating a piece of equipment can create complacency. Those risks skyrocket as exposure to hazards increase during your industry’s or company’s busy season. If your workers operate bucket trucks and lifts, take the time to review training and safety measures to keep everyone safe this season.
Hundreds die each year in aerial lift deaths. Roughly 70% of those are from boom lifts.
RISK: Faulty Equipment
Simply put: machinery wears out and can fail workers when they are positioned high above the ground. Workers might assume that machinery is in good working order, especially if they use the same equipment each day and were the last to operate the machinery when it was in tip top shape, but yesterday’s job might create today’s catastrophe. Don’t miss an easy-to-spot issue that could be remedied before heading out to complete today’s work order.
REMEDY: Check Your Equipment:
A simple visual check can alert you to equipment that is compromised. Are controls working, especially emergency controls? Are guardrails, brakes and other manufacturer safety features in tact? Does any of the machinery show signs of leaks or loosening parts? Giving your equipment the once-over before the work day starts could save life and limb.
Among trades, electricians (25%) account for the most deaths among professionals using aerial lifts, followed by construction laborers (15%) and electrical power installers and repairers (13%).
RISK: Falling Objects/Debris & Collapses
Your equipment and warehouse is under your control, but that is not always true for the site where your workday will take place. Whether you are cutting limbs, fixing communications equipment or installing holiday lights and decor, your worksite might include hazards that could strike workers, damage their equipment or cause them to become pinned or crushed.
Workplace Safety Screenings can evaluate your worksite and equipment and provide custom safety protocols for workers to follow, keeping employees safe & business profitable.
REMEDY: Evaluate Your Work Site
Search out any potential hazard that can compromise the stability of equipment. Check for debris or tools that could come loose once the job begins, putting workers or the public in harm’s way. Make sure you are working at safe distances from potential hazards and that brakes and stabilizing features are used. Cones can alert others nearby to proceed with caution or avoid the area.
The Center for Disease Control reports that aerial lift falls are one of the leading causes of death among construction workers.
RISK: Falls, Tipovers & Ejections
When work hazards are not completely under your control and workers are in the path of falling objects, any number of tragic scenarios can send an employee to the hospital which can lead to permanent disability or death. The most basic harness equipment and worksite procedures could eliminate the deadliest of threats.
REMEDY: Personal Protection Equipment
Workers should wear appropriate gear that protects from falls, with strict rules about how to safely enter and exit the machinery. Just like the machinery itself, PPE should be checked daily and all PPE utilized during a previous incident should be replaced.
The best way to enter a worksite is to assume the highest level of threat. By assuming every wire is live, every worksite contains a fall hazard and every surface is uneven, workers will retain an elevated and necessary level of caution that will keep them at the highest level of safety. For a full work-site and employee evaluation, contact Workplace Safety Screenings. We are experts in worksite safety,