Checklist: What to do before operating an aerial lift
By Ashleigh Petersen
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Checklist: What to do before operating an aerial lift

Pre-start inspection

Prior to each work shift, conduct a pre-start inspection to verify that the equipment and its components are in safe operating condition.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and include a check of:

Vehicle components

  • Proper fluid levels (oil, hydraulic, fuel and coolant)
  • Leaks of fluids
  • Wheels and tires
  • Battery and charger
  • Lower-level controls
  • Horn, gauges, lights and backup alarms
  • Steering and brakes

Lift components

  • Operating and emergency controls
  • Personal protective devices
  • Hydraulic, air, pneumatic, fuel and electrical systems
  • Fiberglass and other insulating components
  • Missing or unreadable placards, warnings, or operational, instructional and control markings
  • Mechanical fasteners and locking pins
  • Cable and wiring harnesses
  • Outriggers, stabilizers and other structures
  • Loose or missing parts
  • Guardrail systems

Do not operate any aerial lift if any of these components are defective until it is repaired by a qualified person. Remove defective aerial lifts from service (tag out) until repairs are made.

Work zone inspections

Employers must ensure that work zones are inspected for hazards and take corrective actions to eliminate such hazards before and during operation of an aerial lift. Items to look for include:

  • Drop-offs, holes or unstable surfaces such as loose dirt
  • Inadequate ceiling heights
  • Slopes, ditches or bumps
  • Debris and floor obstructions
  • Overhead electric power lines and communication cables
  • Other overhead obstructions
  • Other hazardous locations and atmospheres
  • High wind and other severe weather conditions, such as ice
  • The presence of others in close proximity to the work

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Ashleigh Petersen

Ashleigh PetersenAshleigh Petersen

Ashleigh Petersen is the digital communications manager for Rental Management. She writes news and feature articles, plus coordinates the monthly Safety Issue and several sections in the magazine. Ashleigh loves spending time with her husband and young son, baking, gardening and listening to true crime and comedy podcasts.

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