Dangers of Aerial Lifts
September 3, 2019
Aerial lifts are vehicle-mounted devices typically used to elevate things like aerial ladders, jointed boom platforms, and vertical platforms. They are frequently used when fixing electrical and telephone wires. Aerial lifts are a convenient way to get work done because of how mobile they are, but they can also be extremely dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of an aerial lift accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Aerial Lift Accident Causes
According to Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety & Health, an average of 26 construction workers die each year from using aerial lifts. Causes for aerial lift accidents include:
- Untrained employees operating aerial lifts
- Not paying attention
- Failure to maintain equipment
- Raising the lift when it is unsafe to do so
- Lack of fall protection
What Injuries Result from Aerial Lift Accidents?
Injuries that result from aerial lift accidents include:
- Falls from an elevated level
- Objects falling from the lift
- Contact with ceilings
- Entanglement hazards
Operating an Aerial Lift
Before operating an aerial lift, the operator should conduct a pre-start inspection to make sure equipment is in proper working condition. A pre-start inspection includes checking vehicle components, which includes checking wheels and tires, the battery and charger, steering and brakes, and proper fluid levels. You should also check lift components, which include personal protective devices, any loose or missing parts, cable and wiring harnesses, and operating and emergency controls. If you find anything wrong, you should not operate the aerial lift. Doing so can lead to injury and even death.
How to Reduce the Risk of Aerial Lift Accidents
In order to reduce the risk of aerial lift accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires only trained certified employees operate aerial lifts. Aerial lift training should include:
- Procedures for dealing with different hazards
- Recognizing unsafe conditions to avoid them
- When and how to perform inspections
- Explanations of falling object hazards as well as electrical and fall hazards
In order to reduce accidents, the operator should also:
- Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines to reduce their risk of electrocution
- Use a body harness when on a boom lift or bucket truck
- Avoid driving when a lift platform is elevated
- Avoid leaning over guardrails or handrails
- Avoid using aerial lifts in heavy winds
Workers’ Compensation for Aerial Lift Accidents
Workers’ compensation provides medical care and/or cash benefits to employees injured on the job regardless of who is responsible for the accident. Nearly all employers in Pennsylvania are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Before a claim is paid out to the employee, the employer or the insurance company must agree that the injury was work-related.
Workplace Accident Lawyers in Philadelphia Represent Clients Injured on the Job
Getting hurt on the job can leave you with concerns about lost wages from being out of work. If you were injured on the job, contact a workplace accident lawyer in Philadelphia at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. For a free consultation, contact us online or by phone by calling 888-PITT-LAW.
We proudly represent workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.