As a leading lifting equipment company, we champion safe work-at-height practices. This not only protects individuals but also ensures the ongoing success and security of the work-at-height industry.
Here are some best practices when it comes to working at height that every worker should know like the back of their hand, and which every team leader or site manager should enforce at all times.
Safety Harnesses Are Non-Negotiable
When working at height, it is critical that the worker always wears a properly fitted full-body safety harness and has it attached to the designated anchor point inside the boom lift’s platform.
The safety harness must be properly measured to ensure that it is short enough to arrest a fall should one occur. This means properly understanding full distances to avoid incorrect measurements.
Always Wear PPE
In addition to the safety harness, workers should wear the appropriate PPE, such as a hard hat, safety glasses, steel-toed boots, non-slip gloves, and reflectors. These items will ensure additional protection in the event of an unforeseen safety incident.
No construction worker or maintenance worker should ever carry out their duties without being properly fitted with appropriate PPE anyway, whether they are working at height or not.
Proper Training and Certification Are Essential
Any worker who will work at height needs to be properly trained and certified in the safety procedures and emergency protocols related to that kind of work. In addition, the operators who operate the cherry picker equipment will also need to be properly certified and trained regarding the equipment’s safe operation and emergency protocols.
At no stage should any untrained and certified person be allowed to either operate or get into a cherry picker.
Understand Weight Limits & Load Distributions
Every cherry picker has an OEM-specified weight limit, which includes the operator’s weight and any tools or materials that might be carried on the platform. Everyone involved should know what this weight limit is and be aware of the weight they are burdening the platform with.
The load distribution on the platform should be even to avoid one-sided overloading, which can lead to instability. If these factors are not properly taken into account, it can lead to the potential failure of the platform or tipping.
Be Vigilant Regarding Surroundings
Working at height in boom lifts can expose the operator and workers to various dangers, such as power lines, trees, or other high structures. Therefore, it is important always to keep a safe distance from potential hazards and be aware of one’s surroundings at all times.
When operating a cherry picker on a roadside, the bottom end of the machine must be also protected from traffic by erecting safety barriers or traffic cones as needed.
Ground Stability is Key
When setting up a cherry picker for operation, it is crucial to set it up on stable and level ground. The outriggers or stabilisers should always be used to provide additional stability and minimise the risk of any instability occurring. Never set up a cherry picker on uneven or unstable ground.
Be Cognisant of the Weather
Adverse weather conditions can also pose a safety risk to cherry pickers. For example, strong winds or heavy rains can lead to platform instability or slippery conditions. Never operate a boom lift when there is lightning, as this can put the operator at significant risk of a lightning strike.
Be Mindful Of Platform Behaviour
Workers on the platform should never overreach or lean outside the platform’s guardrails. If the worker cannot reach what they need, the operator should reposition the cherry picker rather than attempt to lean out.
Rapid movements should also be avoided. Sudden or jerky movements can potentially lead to instability or a loss of balance. In addition, tools and materials being used at height should be properly secured within the platform to prevent them from falling and creating potential safety hazards for those working below.