In the good ol’ U.S. of A., more than seven million men and women work in the construction industry, providing a variety of skilled labor and maintaining the nation’s infrastructure. For instance, there are more than 50,000 businesses provide roofing, siding, and sheet metal installation alone, and combined they’re valued at an estimated $31.4 billion.
For a variety of tasks, construction workers require man lift equipment to get workers where they need to go. And along with crawler dozers, excavators, and wheel loaders, man lifts were ranked as one of the most important construction equipment categories in 2011.
Man lifts are also known as boom lifts or scissor lifts, but they’re probably most commonly called aerial lifts.
What is an aerial lift?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Aerial lifts are vehicle-mounted, boom-supported aerial platforms, such as cherry pickers or bucket trucks, used to access utility lines and other above ground job sites.”
Although many construction companies and municipalities own their own fleet of aerial lifts, many businesses both small and large choose man lift rental instead. Unfortunately, that sometimes means workers use lifts for the first time without enough experience to use them safely.
Are aerial lifts dangerous? What does OSHA say about aerial lift safety?
If used incorrectly, all construction equipment can be deadly. If you’re considering man lift rentals for your small business, please don’t hesitate to ask about any safety requirements or advice you can provide to your workers.
OSHA says the most common cause of fatalities related to aerial lifts, electric scissor lifts, and boom lifts are falls, electrocution, and collapses. The agency recommends the following safety advice for construction companies:
- Make sure all workers are properly trained in the safe use of all equipment before use.
- Do not exceed the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications. If you aren’t sure what these limits are, then ask your man lift rental company for more information.
- ALWAYS assume power lines are active and energized.
- Use a safety harness or belt, if possible.
If you’re planning on utilizing man lift rental services this year, then make sure any workers who use the lift understand that it’s a delicate piece of equipment. Remember: Anyone who treats their own safety like a joke should never be entrusted with the safety of their coworkers.