Aerial Lift Safety Inspections: Tips and Best Practices

Aerial Lift Safety Inspections: Tips and Best Practices 1

Aerial lifts are a common tool used in many industries to perform a variety of tasks. However, the use of aerial lifts can also pose a number of risks if not properly maintained and inspected. According to OSHA, more than 25 workers are killed each year in aerial lift accidents. Aerial lift safety inspections are crucial to ensuring workers are protected and that the equipment is operating properly. In this article, we will discuss tips and best practices for conducting aerial lift safety inspections.

Frequency of Inspections

Aerial lifts must be inspected before each use and periodically, as outlined by the manufacturer, and OSHA regulations. Prior to each use, the operator must inspect the equipment to ensure it is operating properly. Periodic inspections should be conducted at least once every 12 months. Any time an aerial lift has been involved in an incident or there is reason to believe that it may not be safe to use, it should be inspected immediately.

Aerial Lift Safety Inspections: Tips and Best Practices 2

Pre-Operation Inspection

Before operating the aerial lift, the operator must perform a pre-operation inspection. This inspection should include the following:

  • Inspect the aerial lift for any visible damage to the platform, controls, and frame.
  • Check the safety devices such as emergency lowering controls, outriggers, and guardrails.
  • Check hydraulic lines and fittings for leaks or damage.
  • Ensure that the control buttons and switches are labeled and in good working order.
  • Verify that there are no loose or missing components.
  • Check the condition of the tires and wheel assemblies.
  • Operational Inspection

    During operation, the operator should continuously monitor the aerial lift for safe operation. The following should be observed:

  • Ensure the weight capacity of the lift is not exceeded.
  • Ensure the lift is on a solid, level surface.
  • Ensure the operator is not leaning over the rails or standing on an unstable surface.
  • Ensure the area around the lift is clear and there are no hazards.
  • Ensure the outriggers are deployed and locked into place, if applicable.
  • Ensure the drive and lift controls operate smoothly and correctly.
  • Post-Operation Inspection

    After use, the operator should perform a post-operation inspection to ensure the aerial lift is in proper working order. The following should be checked:

  • The condition of the platform, controls, and frame should be inspected for any damage.
  • The safe devices such as emergency lowering controls, outriggers, and guardrails should be checked for proper operation.
  • The hydraulic lines and fittings should be checked for leaks or damage.
  • Any loose or missing components should be repaired or replaced.
  • The condition of the tires and wheel assemblies should be checked.
  • Training

    It is imperative that only trained and authorized personnel operate aerial lifts. Employers must provide training to operators on how to operate the equipment safely and how to perform safety inspections and necessary maintenance. Employers must also provide retraining if necessary. Additionally, it is important to provide training to individuals on how to recognize potential hazards associated with aerial lifts and how to prevent accidents. Enhance your reading and broaden your understanding of the topic with this handpicked external material for you. Delve into this useful material, discover new perspectives and additional information!


    In conclusion, aerial lift safety inspections are critical to ensuring the safety of workers and the proper operation of equipment. Operators must perform pre-operation, operational, and post-operation inspections as outlined by OSHA regulations and the manufacturer. Regular training is also essential to ensuring that personnel are trained to operate the equipment properly and safely. By following these tips and best practices, we can minimize the risk of accidents and maintain a safe work environment.

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