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8 Basic Safety Tips for Using Boom Lifts

05. 27, 2024

Boom lifts play a vital role in the successful execution and completion of numerous construction projects. However, due to their size, scale, and structure, they also present significant risks and the potential for serious injury if proper safety measures are not observed. It's crucial to adhere to these safety tips when operating boom lifts to prevent injuries, accidents, damage, and liability concerns.


1. Maintain a Clear Base and Circumference


Always ensure that the base and the entire circumference of the boom lift are free of any personnel while the lift is in operation. The lift's circumference is often substantial, and tools or objects may accidentally fall from the platform, posing a serious hazard to anyone below. Keeping the area clear minimizes the risk of injury from falling objects. While rare, boom lifts can also tip over, so keeping the surrounding area clear helps prevent injuries if such an incident occurs.


2. Employ Trained Lift Operators


Hire employees who are properly trained to operate boom lifts and possess relevant safety certifications and knowledge. Testing potential hires with hands-on assignments that demonstrate their operational proficiency with the lift can identify any potential issues and address them proactively to prevent accidents during actual job tasks.


Diesel telescopic boom lift

3. Wear Your Harness


Wearing a harness and ensuring the lanyard is securely fastened to the bucket is a simple yet crucial safety measure. While it may seem unlikely for an operator to fall out of the platform, even minor impacts from other equipment or objects can disrupt balance and pose a risk of falling. Additionally, strong winds could potentially knock someone off the platform, resulting in serious injury.


4. Adhere to Weight Limits


Each boom lift has a specified weight capacity that must be observed. Exceeding this limit, even slightly, can make the lift top-heavy and increase the risk of tipping over. Operators should consider their weight along with the weight of all tools and materials on the platform to ensure they do not exceed the recommended capacity before operating the lift. It's also important to refrain from using the boom lift to lift heavy supplies.


5. Avoid Climbing or Sitting on Outer Edges


While on the platform of a boom lift, the temptation to climb or sit on the edge to reach something may arise. However, this practice is highly dangerous. Climbing or sitting on the edge significantly increases the risk of falling off the platform and can lead to serious injury. If something is out of reach, communicate with the boom lift operator to safely reposition the platform for easy access to the required item.


6. Avoid windy conditions


When a boom lift is extended very high, the wind can pose a substantial safety concern. If the wind is strong enough, it can knock a boom lift over completely. One should avoid using boom lifts in extremely windy conditions or in other adverse weather to avoid the risk of a boom lift potentially falling over. Each lift has a limit of how much wind it can withstand; reviewing the user manual will help an operator understand the specific restrictions of the lift they are operating and identify strategies for using the lift in challenging weather.


7. Operate on Level Ground


Boom lifts are susceptible to tipping over due to their significant height extension capabilities. It is crucial to operate the boom lift on level ground and a stable base to ensure the safety of the operator and surrounding workers. Correctly utilizing the boom lift brakes can help stabilize the base of the boom lift.


8. Move the Lift Correctly


Consulting the manufacturer’s manual is essential for understanding how to safely maneuver the boom lift and when it is appropriate to move the lift while it is extended. However, as a general rule, it is best to avoid moving the lift in this manner whenever possible. Moving a lift while extended increases the risk of injury and should only be done when absolutely necessary and if explicitly permitted in the manufacturer’s manual. Otherwise, lower the boom lift completely, reposition it, and then extend it as needed.


Operating boom lifts presents challenges and potential risks, but adhering to these safety guidelines will help prevent accidents and injuries on-site.

Diesel telescopic boom lift