Safety tips for boom lift operators

A boom lift is a type of aerial work platform which is routinely used in industrial settings for accessing shelving and machinery which is positioned at a height. It is considered to be an essential piece of equipment in many factories, warehouses and manufacturing plants. However, if used incorrectly, it can put operators and nearby workers at risk of injury. Here are two ways to minimise the dangers associated with using boom lifts:

Use fall protection gear

When a person is standing in the boom basket whilst the equipment is in motion, there is a very strong chance that they could be catapulted from it, if the driver needs to brake abruptly or if they hit a patch of uneven or unstable flooring.

This is why it is essential for those who need to stand in the basket to wear fall protection gear, such as a heavy-duty harness and lanyard. The former is worn on the individual's torso and the latter is then attached to it, via the connection point (usually located at the waistline). The other end of the lanyard is then tightly fastened onto the basket. Together, these two pieces of safety equipment can prevent any sudden jolts from causing the wearer to fall out of the boom lift and injure themselves.

In addition to these items,  the person in the basket should always wear a hard hat; this will reduce the likelihood of them sustaining a serious head injury if the aforementioned safety gear malfunctions, or if they run into an overhead obstacle (such as the roof rafters, for example).

Check the surrounding environment for hazards

Before a boom lift is used, the surrounding environment should be checked for potential hazards which might cause the equipment to topple over and crush the operator or anyone standing nearby.

The ground conditions, for example, should be thoroughly examined; boom lifts should only ever be used on level ground. Inclines, potholes and mounds can make the equipment unstable and increase the likelihood of it falling over.

In addition to ensuring that the ground is level, operators should also check that it is robust enough to withstand the weight of the boom lift. If it is not, there is a chance that the floor or ground surface could collapse and cause a serious accident.

Lastly, the route which the operator needs to take should be inspected for debris which could puncture the boom lift's tyres, or cause a collision which could hurt the operator or those nearby.