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Two mistakes that can lead to injuries and accidents when using a boom lift

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A boom lift is a vital piece of equipment in an industrial facility. However, it can cause injuries, if those who use it make certain mistakes. Read on to find out what these mistakes are and how they can be avoided.

Failing to the evaluate the area in which the equipment will be used

Prior to using a boom lift, the operator must check the ground on which they intend to use the equipment for hazards that could potentially affect the stability of the machine.

For example, boom lifts should not be used in an area of an industrial facility where the ground is damaged (for instance, if there are bulges or cracks on a concrete floor), as they can tip over when driven across an uneven surface. A boom lift is extremely heavy; as such, if it were to tip over onto someone who happened to be walking by at the time of the incident, it would almost certainly end up crushing them. In this situation, the operator of the equipment would also probably sustain a very serious injury as a result of falling out of the boom.

Similarly, it can be dangerous to operate this equipment on a slope (even if the style of boom lift that is being used features wheel brakes which prevent it from rolling downhill). The reason for this is if the operator standing in the boom leans forward towards the slope, the equipment's balance could be affected to the point where it tips over. Again, this could result in some serious injuries.

As such, operators should get into the habit of evaluating the ground on which they wish to use this equipment prior to switching it on. This simple process should take no more than a minute and could prevent them and their fellow co-workers from being hurt.

Not using fall protection gear

Many operators make the mistake of failing to put on fall protection gear (i.e. harnesses which attaches their bodies to the railings of the boom) before they use a boom lift.

This tends to happen when the operator only needs to use the equipment for a short period of time; in this scenario, the operator might mistakenly assume that an accident is unlikely to occur if they will only be standing inside the boom for a minute or two.

The reality is that accidents can occur in the space of a few seconds. If for example, the boom lift is struck by another piece of equipment whilst someone is standing in the boom, and this person is not wearing any fall protection gear, they could fall to the ground and sustain a major injury in less than two or three seconds.

As such, operators should put on fall protection gear every single time they need to use a boom lift, regardless of how long they intend to use it for.