Aerial Lifts

Aerial Lifts

Hazard Overview

Hazard Overview

What is an aerial lift?

An aerial lift is a vehicle-mounted aerial device used to elevate personnel to job sites above ground.

Aerial lifts include the following types:

  • Extensible boom platforms
  • Aerial ladders
  • Articulating boom platforms
  • Vertical towers
  • A combination of any of the above

Aerial lifts do not include scissor lifts, which are regarded as a type of scaffold.

What is an aerial device?

An aerial device is any vehicle-mounted device, telescoping or articulating or both, which is used to position personnel.

What are the hazards associated with aerial lifts?

The primary hazards associated with the use of these devices are falls to a lower elevation due to lack of fall protection or tip-overs, resulting in serious injury or death, and electrocution due to contact with energized power lines.

Solutions

Solutions

What can I do to protect myself?

Some, but not all, of the precautions workers must follow when operating or working from an aerial lift include:

  • Never operate an aerial lift unless you have been trained.

  • Use a body harness or restraining belt with a lanyard attached to the boom or basket when working from an aerial lift.

  • When working from an aerial lift, be sure to maintain both feet on the floor of the basket and never climb over or work from the edge of the basket or platform.

  • Ensure that proper clearance is maintained from all overhead hazards.

  • Observe and maintain proper distance from any overhead or nearby power lines.

  • Before work begins, set outriggers on pads or a level surface.

  • Do not exceed the load capacity limits of the aerial lift.

What resources are available to assist employers?

This fall protection safety and health presentation can be downloaded and customized to fit the training needs of an individual employer.

Employers are required to perform a workplace hazard analysis to determine what personal protective equipment is necessary to protect employees from continued exposure to identified hazards. This can be done using and adapting this example job hazard analysis program,

A-Z safety and health topic pages on fall protection, chain saw safety, personal protective equipment and arboriculture can provide more resource information. In addition, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). The education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request.

Regulations

Regulations

Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards for aerial lifts in North Carolina:

Additional standards associated with the use of aerial lifts include:

  • 29 CFR 1910.268 - telecommunications - paragraph (q)(2)

  • 29 CFR 1910.333 - electrical, selection and use of work practices - paragraph (c)(3)(iii)[A][3]

Learn More

Learn More

Where can I learn more?

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876.