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This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is getting a grip on aerial work platform safety.
Technology advances and ongoing safety considerations related to lift equipment make it even more important than ever that managers make training a key issue in purchasing or renting an aerial work platform.
First, managers need to understand the different levels of training related to aerial work platforms. They include:
• General product training, which is available from the International Powered Access Federation or a rental dealer. This training can last up to a full day and gives participants certification to operate lift equipment.
• Machine-specific training, which can take about 45 minutes and is provided by the manufacturer or rental agency when the customer receives the piece of equipment. This training seeks to ensure operators know the particulars of a specific piece of equipment.
Beyond simply arranging for training, managers must ensure the training addresses the specific safety challenges equipment operators face daily, including the most common mistakes related to aerial work platforms. Most often, mistakes occur when users’ minds drift away from a focus on safety.
Common mistakes by lift-equipment operators include:
• Not being fully aware of job-site hazards, including potholes and overhead obstructions
• Modifying or overriding safety equipment.
• Failing to perform a complete pre-start inspection
• Failing to become familiar with the manufacturer’s operating manual.