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D&R Rental: 5 Ways to Avoid Aerial Lift Injuries

According to the National Safety Council, workplace injuries cost our economy $198.2 billion a year. The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) regulates employers from forcing workers to use unsafe equipment or work in an unsafe environment. Below are five simple ways to avoid aerial lift injuries.

Hazards.
It's important to ensure a safe work environment when using aerial equipment. Common lift hazards that lead to construction injuries can range from electric shock or entanglements to tip-overs or collapses. In most instances, several of these hazards are presented at the same time. A worker can become entangled in a cable attached outside of the platform and be dragged off the platform. A worker can touch an electrified object and receive shock, causing misbalance and potentially falling off the platform. These hazards are easily avoidable if the work environment is properly managed.

Employee Training.
Employers can often fail to lead workers through the entire training process. Training should occur when a new worker joins the team, when workplace hazards are found, and when new rental equipment is being used. It is also a good idea to re-train after an accident occurs, providing a refresher to workers as to why the accident might have happened. In fact, the OSHA recommends training and re-training at various times throughout the year.

Outdated Specifications.
It is a manager's responsibility to not assume that yesterday's and today's specifications are the same. Replacing ariel equipment or using any type of rental equipment will most likely require some degree of new specifications. The aerial lift requirements and technology used are likely different than previous one. The job site conditions are usually different than the time before. Checking these specifications is a simple and easy way to lower the risk of injury.

Equipment Needs.
Ensuring you have the proper equipment for the project is vital to everyone's safety. Underestimating or overestimating functional requirements can be a big problem. If a manager chooses to use a boom lift when the job at hand actually requires employees to use an articulated boom lift, the risk of an injury increases. This can lead to employees leaning or climbing out of the platform to reach object, which puts them in a dangerous situation that could have been easily avoided.

Reach.
Aerial equipment comes in many different shapes and sizes. A lift's reach requirement should accurately match what is needed for the job. If a worker uses a lift with a boom that is too short or too long, the working conditions are instantly at a higher risk. A lift with too long of a boom could result in the need to lower the boom causing the weight of the lift to move off center, creating imbalance and the potential of a tip-over. A lift with too short of a boom could result in the worker trying to reach the object by climbing onto the lift or platform, increasing the risk of falling. It is important to have the best fitting equipment for the job.

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