In-House Training and Certification Best Options for Aerial Lifts
Training certificates for aerial work platforms are valid for the make and model to which the training applies, so the key for managers is to match the training to the equipment the operator and ground support technician will use. To do so, managers need to have information on the make and model of the equipment, work-site layout clearances, job-site hazards, and the weather conditions.
One essential element of this process is safety. The leading causes of aerial lift accidents involve: falling objects; falling from buckets or platforms when struck by an object; collapses and tip-overs; getting caught between the bucket or guardrail and a structure; striking overhead obstructions; electrical shock; and climbing injuries.
So managers need to match training options and resources to cover such safety-related subjects as proper work area set-up; performing an inspection; understanding hydraulics, electrical systems, and electronics; correct use of fall-arrest and other personnel protective equipment; boom operation; maintaining proper clearances; chassis stability assurance; and applicable attachments training.
In-house training and certification is the best option if managers have access to an in-house site with instructors, lecture and practice space. The certification must be signed by the student — signifying they have completed the course — and by the instructor — signifying the student has been taught all the course requirements for the specific equipment make and model, and has received a passing grade.
Among the typical topics for an in-house training facility are safety, make and model of equipment, and work-site conditions. Conditions for construction, demolition, storm damage, utility transmission and distribution, and maintenance of existing facilities vary widely, so managers should be sure these topics are part of the training program.
OSHA's video lending library contains a great deal of content. Subjects include: accident prevention and investigation; spotting hazards; aerial lift safety; boomlifts in construction; bucket truck safety training for operators; scissor and aerial lift safety around power lines, to name a few.
While these resources are important, they do not cover all the make- and model-specific operation, ground support and maintenance training. Such training resources are obtained from the manufacturer, either at their training facility, or at your facility, providing their instructor and training material resources including the relevant operator and maintenance manuals, safety guides, and daily and annual preventive maintenance guides.
If managers do not have access to appropriate in-house facilities, one option is to use resources of a third-party, which might include online training and certification, training at the provider's site, at the manufacturer's location, or a combination. If the training is done before delivery of the equipment, the operator and ground support technician can receive training at the manufacturer's training facility.