Aerial Lift Inspection: 5 Ways You Can Ensure Workplace Safety

Every year, we hear the media headlines of people being severely crushed in accidents involving boom or aerial lifts, including scissor lifts, cranes, digger derricks, cherry pickers, and bucket trucks.

As these heavy equipment are extensively in various industries, so it is crucial to understand the risks and hazards associated with lifts.

Most aerial-lift accidents involve falls, equipment tipping over or electrocutions. Falls usually occur because of operators leaning over guardrails or lifts collisions with objects or vehicles.

Electrocutions are often a result of lifts coming in contact with overhead cables and power lines. And, tip-over occur due to operator error, untrained drivers, equipment positioning, or malfunction. 

So, to avoid these things happen to you, here are five ways you can have a safe worksite:

Operator Training

According to OSHA guidelines, operators need to undergo training and obtain aerial lift certification to ensure overall workplace safety.  It provides workers a complete skill set on how to prevent electrocutions, falls, and other hazards. 

Trained operators will not only operate the lift correctly, but also identify maximum load capacity and additional manufacturer needs. 

Besides, make sure to read equipment manuals and understand every do’s and don’ts. Regular equipment inspection can also help alleviate aerial-lift accidents.

Perform Daily Inspection

Performing daily aerial lift inspections can seem tedious at first, but doing this will not only keep businesses persuadable with industry guidelines, but also ensures workplace safety. This will further keep equipment in service and maintenance costs in check.

Pre-Job Inspections

Pre-job inspections are applicable for every type of aerial lifts on every worksite. It involves checking- safety devices, operating controls, emergency controls, guardrails, outriggers, tires and wheels, personal fall-protection wearable, and other mechanical parts identified by the manufacturer.

Operators should also check potential leaks in hydraulic fluid, air, and fuel lines as well as for missing or loose parts. A thorough inspection is usually needed to be done every month or after specific hours of use.

Logbooks for Inspection

Most of the manufacturers provide logbooks to maintain the records of daily inspections of equipment.

  • Daily logs address items needed in pre-job inspections.
  • Weekly logs cover items such as driveline function, battery function, and winch brake operation.
  • Monthly logs cover checking valves and cylinders; machine’s welds and pins; control placements, safety, and capacity signage and checking boom wear pads and rollers.

The logs also allow workers to address issues, prescribe solutions, and register repairs. Besides, employers need to maintain and inspect records permissible to aerial lifts for the future.

If aerial lifts are not functioning correctly or it needs major repair, it should be locked out and de-energized kept aside until it is repaired. Make sure to get it fixed with qualified mechanics.

Inspection of Jobsite

Along with inspection of equipment, job site should also be inspected. Make sure to check bumps, drop-offs, holes, and overhead cables at your worksite before starting your project operations.

Further, aerial lifts must be placed on an even surface without any slope. Operators must be aware of lift manufacturer slope limits.


Have a safe approach of driving lifts, especially around electrical lines and don’t drive the lift platforms with the extended arm on. Keep in mind to not exceed horizontal or vertical reach limits and specified load-capacity. Read the manufacturer’s manual carefully to understand all the functionalities! Practicing these daily steps is crucial to ensure a safe workplace!