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Aerial lifts can be used to accomplish several unique duties done in hard to reach aerial spaces. Some of the duties associated with this type of lift include performing regular repair on structures with high ceilings, repairing telephone and power cables, lifting heavy shelving units, and pruning tree branches. A ladder could also be utilized for some of the aforementioned tasks, although aerial platform lifts offer more safety and strength when properly used.
There are several distinctive models of aerial lifts existing, each being able to perform slightly different jobs. Painters will usually use a scissor lift platform, which can be used to reach the 2nd story of buildings. The scissor aerial platform lifts use criss-cross braces to stretch and enlarge upwards. There is a table attached to the top of the braces that rises simultaneously as the criss-cross braces raise.
Cherry pickers and bucket lift trucks are a different variety of the aerial hoist. Commonly, they contain a bucket at the end of an extended arm and as the arm unfolds, the attached bucket platform rises. Forklifts utilize a pronged arm that rises upwards as the lever is moved. Boom lifts have a hydraulic arm which extends outward and elevates the platform. All of these aerial platform lifts have need of special training to operate.
Training programs presented through Occupational Safety & Health Association, acknowledged also as OSHA, deal with safety procedures, system operation, upkeep and inspection and machine cargo capacities. Successful completion of these education programs earns a special certified license. Only properly licensed individuals who have OSHA operating licenses should run aerial hoists. The Occupational Safety & Health Organization has formed guidelines to maintain safety and prevent injury while using aerial lift trucks. Common sense rules such as not utilizing this apparatus to give rides and ensuring all tires on aerial hoists are braced so as to hinder machine tipping are referred to within the guidelines.
Sadly, statistics show that more than 20 operators die each year while running aerial lifts and 8% of those are commercial painters. Most of these incidents are due to improper tire bracing and the lift falling over; therefore many of these deaths were preventable. Operators should make sure that all wheels are locked and braces as a critical safety precaution to stop the instrument from toppling over.
Additional rules involve marking the surrounding area of the machine in an obvious way to protect passers-by and to guarantee they do not approach too close to the operating machine. It is vital to ensure that there are also 10 feet of clearance among any power cables and the aerial hoist. Operators of this machinery are also highly recommended to always have on the appropriate safety harness when up in the air.