One of the most important heavy equipment is the aerial lift. But in order to fully operate it, you have to know how it functions and understand the basic safety precautions before fully putting it to use.
Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents capital heavy equipment in Singapore and has now been one of the trusted companies operating in Jakarta, Indonesia, provides free guidelines for the proper management of aerial lifts:
This seems an obvious must before operating a heavy machine but with the scarcity of manpower nowadays, it is often disregarded. Make sure you have received proper training (both general and hands-on), as well as familiarization with the product you will operate.
2. Inspection and Review
Perform a pre-operation inspection and functions test before each shift. This is no different from checking a dozer for hydraulic leaks, unusual wear, or debris in the tracks, and testing to be sure the blade moves freely in the directions it is supposed to.
3. Fall protection
Make sure you are fully armored. As you will be dealing with aerial lifts, falling can be a big risk. Wear fall protection when operating a boom. This means a full body harness and lanyard or self-retracting lifeline.
4. Rescue plan
In the event that you cannot lower the aerial, have a rescue plan in place so other trained and familiarized personnel are aware you are operating the unit and can assist from the ground controls. Make sure you have even a walkie-talkie in hand or any communication device which you can use to signal your comrades.
Keep the platform clear of all debris. Remove any item that is not necessary to do your work. If it cannot be avoided, immediately send out warning to those below to avoid falling debris.
Here are some of the most common types of aerial lifts:
1. Articulated Boom Lifts
Also frequently referred to as knuckle lifts, articulated boom lifts are made up of a work platform which has been mounted on an arm that can pivot in order to reach around structures in its way.
2. Telescoping Boom Lifts
As the name insinuates, the telescoping boom lift is mounted on a straight, extendable (telescoping) arm which sits on a turntable that rotates. Frequently it is used in jobs which require the workers to reach areas higher than other boom lifts have the ability to extend to.
3. Towable Boom Lifts
A towable boom lift is great because it is easy to transport, hence the name. Due to their transportable nature, they make moving from one job as simple as packing up and towing the boom lift.