Crane Institute of America

Be Safe with Aerial Lifts

040a2f456f79ba582dbc1bfb47168c4f57d732d86b57f6bf48acff755b35f652_mIn May a boom lift overturned in New York. The operator suffered a broken wrist as well as facial and rib injuries, but thankfully he was not thrown from the platform and was rescued by the local fire department.

An aerial lift works on the leverage principle, where the weight of the boom at any length should be offset by the counterweight. The unit must be level within the manufacturer’s tolerance, and should have a slope sensor alarm that would sound when that tolerance is exceeded. In this incident the operator drove the lift up onto a slope, which caused it to overturn.

Although aerial lifts look easy to operate and can be rented by anyone, they should only be operated by those who have been properly trained. Often the person delivering the lift is a driver not equipped to provide this training. Never assume you can “just figure it out”!