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10 Items to inspect before operating Aerial Lifts

Working on an aerial lift can accelerate the time required to complete tasks that are above ground level, compared to working on a ladder to perform the same job. However, greater work efficiency is also accompanied by greater risk. Therefore, operators of aerial lifts, which include extendable boom platforms, aerial ladders, articulating boom platforms and vertical towers, should respect and follow the safety rules when using the equipment.

Genie boomliftBefore starting the equipment, inspect it to make sure:

  • There are no fluid leaks, batteries are properly connected and fully charged, and fluids are at manufacturer-specified levels.
  • The horn, gauges, lights and backup alarms are functioning.
  • Steering and brakes are operational.
  • Wheels and tires are fully inflated.

Also, check the operating and emergency controls; personal safety devices; the hydraulic, air, pneumatic, fuel and electrical systems; mechanical fasteners and locking pins; cable and wiring harnesses; outriggers and stabilizers; and guardrail systems. If any of these functional and safety systems are not working or are broken, lock and tag out the machine.

Only trained and authorized persons are allowed to operate an aerial lift. Training should include explanations of electrical hazards, fall hazards and falling objects; procedures for dealing with hazards; lift operating instructions; and operator skill and knowledge demonstration to a supervisor.

Before moving the equipment across a work area, the operator should inspect the proposed path for

  • Drop-offs, holes or unstable surfaces;
  • Ceiling heights;
  • Slopes, ditches or bumps;
  • Overhead obstructions;
  • Overhead power lines and communications cables (stay at least 10 feet away); and
  • The presence of other workers in the work area.

Aerial equipment should not be operated when there are high winds or severe weather conditions.

When operating the equipment, be sure the access gate or openings are closed; stand firmly on the floor; do not climb on or lean over the guard rails; use a body harness or a restraining belt with a lanyard attached to the boom or bucket; and never belt off to adjacent structures or poles while in the aerial lift.

The lift is designed for specific load capacities, so never use it as a crane; over load it with extra workers, tools or equipment; and do not exceed vertical or horizontal height reach limits.

Before moving the lift for travel, inspect the boom(s) or other devices to ensure that they arecradled or stowed in the proper position.

If the aerial lift is equipped with outriggers, set the outriggers on pads or on a level, solid surface. Brakes should be set when the outriggers are in use. Before using the lift on an incline, apply the brake systems and if safe to do so, chock the lift’s wheels. Set up work zone warnings, such as cones and signs, when necessary, to warn others.

Neff Rental delivers aerial equipment to customers’ commercial and residential construction and industrial job sites, and provides 24/7 service and support to help ensure that jobs are completed on time.  When you need aerial equipment for your next project, contact the closest Neff Rental branch at 888-709-NEFF, or visit