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Lessons Learned About Fall Protection Safety on Boom Lifts


Extensible boom lifts are very helpful when you need to access heights without the expense of a crane or don't want the headache of the setup required with scaffolding.

Articulating boom lifts are especially useful when needing to access difficult to reach areas and interior locations with high ceilings and odd angles.

...but with specialized features and uses also come unique potential hazards that can be deadly if lift operators are not trained and authorized to use the equipment.

OSHA Standard 1926.453(b)(2)(iv) Employees shall always stand firmly on the floor of the basket, and shall not sit or climb on the edge of the basket or use planks, ladders, or other devices for a work position.

In this news article published by the National Post, one man was killed and another was injured when their lift tipped over. You can see the devastating scene in the photo below. Click the photo to read the full article.

Boom Lift has Fallen Over in Middle of Street
One man was killed after falling 25 feet and another was injured when this lift tipped over while in use.
Fall Hazards Sign, Danger Stickers on Boom Lifts

In order to avoid tip over hazards during lift operation, operators should heed the following and employers should ensure that only trained and authorized personnel are operating the lifts.

  • Always use proper fall protection when operating an aerial lift.
  • Never alter or disable warning devices or limit switches - they are there to help avoid tip over hazards.
  • Survey the area where the lift will be used before moving or driving the lift to identify and avoid potential hazards such as curbs, pot-holes, excavations, floor holes or other uneven surfaces.

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