Aerial lifts can come in handy on any construction or work site, especially when it comes to working in mountainous and hilly territory. However, as with any form of heavy machinery, aerial lift operators and workers have a responsibility to keep themselves, their fellow workers, and citizens safe when working with this type of equipment. Specifically, there are a few important aerial lift operation dos and don'ts that all operators should be aware of and practice on a daily basis.
DO Apply Brakes on Inclines
Whenever the aerial lift is being operated on an incline, it's necessary for the lift operator to apply the brakes any time the lift needs to stop for any reason. This is important in ensuring the stable and secure placement of the lift, which could be containing workers. Furthermore, if the aerial left is designed for the use of wheel chocks, these should also be put into place. These will help to ensure that the lift car doesn't roll back in the event of a brake failure.
DO Move Into Neutral
Whenever the lift is being operated and the direction of the lift is changed from forward to reverse (or reverse to forward), it's vital that the operator allow the gearshift to move into neutral for at least a few seconds before switching direction. Just as allowing a car to sit in neutral for a moment before switching from "reverse" to "drive" is important, the same goes for an aerial lift. Failure to stop the lift momentarily in neutral could result in mechanical failure, which can be both dangerous and expensive.
DON'T Leave Lift Key Unattended
Finally, operators should always be instructed to take their lift keys with them and keep them secured at all times when the lift is not being used. Unfortunately, many operators become too comfortable with their work stations and will leave keys in the control booth unattended for extended periods of time. This is how accidents happen; all it takes is a few seconds for an unauthorized worker to make a mistake in an attempt to operate the crane.
There's a lot to learn when it comes to aerial crane safety, especially considering the heights at which this type of machinery is often operating. This is by no means a comprehensive list of safety rules, but it's a start for those learning the ropes of operating an aerial crane or simply working on one.