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These and other advances, combined with 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 a lift. But too few managers are getting that message, manufacturers say.
“What we’re seeing in the industry is the need for operator training,” Kee says. “There’s a lot of confusion about training.”
First, manufacturers say, managers need to understand the different levels of training related to aerial work platforms. They are:
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.
“Customers too often become complacent,” Reynolds says. “They fail to take time to conduct machine walk-arounds before starting their work. They also fail to make a thorough inspection of the job site and look for things like obstructions. They often see where they have to get to, but not how they’re going to get there.”
Kee points out these common mistakes by lift-equipment operators:
Managers also must be sure operators put their training into practice.
“In addition to being properly trained, the operator is responsible for conducting a pre-start inspection prior to use of the equipment,” Ford says. The operator should conduct the inspection as described in the operator’s manual. This process typically includes a walk-around of the equipment and a function check. The specific operator’s manual, included with each machine, outlines in detail the full list of operator responsibilities.
Aerial Work Platforms: Operator Training Options