Safety Tips for Cherry Picker Operators!

The cherry picker is a specialized and highly functional aerial lift device that is used in numerous industries. It is primarily designed to provide temporary access to various heights that are difficult to reach using conventional means such as ladders. The aerial lift platform features a hydraulic bucket and a rotating boom arm that is used to carry workers, tools and essential instruments to necessary working heights.

While this provides ample benefits to the user, it is imperative to consider safety while operating the machine because of the greater risks of severe injuries and fatal accidents. Therefore, it is imperative to determine the causes of such occurrences and then conform to established safely guidelines in order to eliminate such harmful events.

Accident Causes

There are several causes of accidents related to the operation of aerial lifts. Some reports indicate that the cause is due to failure to maintain the device in good working condition which can then lead to boom collapse and tip-over. Other says failure to deploy hydraulic outriggers before starting the job contributes to accidents. The last comment is that operating the equipment without adequate training is a large factor. Cherry picker accidents are still an ongoing concern which results in litigation and insurance issues. The tip-over, which is a common cause of such accidents, can result from: not following the right operating procedure; not paying attention to any obstacles in the path of the task; incorrect use of hydraulic outriggers; not following manufacturer’s instructions, and driving without training.

Safety Guidelines Using Aerial Lift Platform

To maintain safety and efficiency, the following guidelines should be followed by operators when using the device in various applications.

  • Training – Operators and drivers must be well-trained on the right usage of the machine.
  • Follow Instructions – Encourage workers controlling the bucket to conform to manufacturer’s recommended instructions.
  • Inspections – Professional mechanics should conduct periodic inspection at least bi-annually. And drivers should conduct pre- and post-inspections of the vehicle depending on the allowed time.
  • Use Safety Devices – This should not be an option but rather a requirement.
  • Avoid Overhead Hazards – No workers should be allowed at any point between overhead hazards and the bucket.
  • Safe Clearance – Maintain safe clearance and a minimum allowable distance of at least 3 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Fall Protection – All workers must wear fall protection devices while located in the bucket.
  • Work Safely – Workers should be prohibited from sitting, standing, or climbing on the bucket edge.
  • Truck Movement – Trucks should not be moved while the bucket is raised.
  • Capacity – Be conscious on the loading capacity of the vehicle.
  • Level Surface Usage – The equipment should be parked on a level surface.
  • Use Outriggers – Hydraulic outriggers should be engaged prior to the start of work.
  • Power Lines – Always consider power lines as “active”.

The importance of personal safety equipment at the job site should not be neglected. These safety devices protect workers and improve the business productivity level. Although fall protection is not a total guard to avoid injuries, at least any potential injuries can be minimized. Controlling the risk can happen by ensuring that the working environment is free from hazards. In addition, drivers must be trained to identify, control, and prevent such accidents from happening. Of the many methods available to avoid expensive injury claims, one of the best tips is to read these safety guidelines for cherry picker operators and put them into practice!