Bucket trucks, sometimes called cherry pickers, are an excellent tool used in many industries to get to hard to reach areas. Bucket trucks provide a safe and stable work platform in a variety of situations when used in accordance with specific recommendations from the manufacturers.
OSHA Standard 1926.21(b)(2) says that the employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.
It is important to note that all bucket trucks come with specific manufacturer operator manuals for the particular model and type of bucket truck. If the operator manual is not available, the bucket truck should not be used!
OSHA Standard 1910.67(c)(2)(ii) states only trained persons shall operate an aerial lift.
Common hazards with bucket trucks include:
- Electrocution from accidental contact with energized wires
- Tip-over hazards from setting up on steep or unstable surfaces and not using supports
- Collisions or struck-against hazards from traffic on roads
- Fall hazards from improper use of the lifts
OSHA Standard 1910.67(c)(2)(vii) The brakes shall be set and outriggers, when used, shall be positioned on pads or a solid surface. Wheel chocks shall be installed before using an aerial lift on an incline.
If bucket trucks are used by employees of your company or organization, then safety meetings to go over reminders for safe operation of bucket trucks are a must! Hold those safety meetings at regular intervals throughout the year and ensure that any employee that is operation a bucket truck has been trained and authorized to do so. Safety precautions to cover during safety meetings include:
- Only trained and authorized operators can use bucket trucks!
- Stand firmly inside the lift and never sit or climb on the edge of the bucket or use boxes or other items to get additional height.
- Look for overhead power lines and electricity lines before and during operation.
- Survey the area, set outriggers or supports if available and use traffic control if necessary.
- Use fall protection every time when working in the bucket!
- Use the right fall protection for the specific type of bucket truck and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
OSHA Standard 1910.67(c)(2)(vi) Boom and basket load limits specified by the manufacturer shall not be exceeded.