Cherry pickers are indispensable within the construction industry, mostly because of their versatility and convenience. These elevated working platforms make it easier and safer for workers who’re working at high levels. Thanks to them you don’t need to use cranes or erect scaffolding to get work done anymore.
While the usual emphasis is placed on the safety of the workers working on elevated platforms, today we’re going to focus on the operators. So if you’re involved in cherry picker hire, we’re going to outline a few handy tips that your operators will find useful. After all, everyone’s safety is important to us; both the workers and cherry picker operators.
Common Cherry Picker Accidents
Before we highlight the tips, we’ll outline the most common accidents associated with operating cherry pickers:
- Failure to maintain the machine in good working condition is one of the most common causes of accidents. As a result, the boom may collapse and tip over which can cause injury.
- It’s important to ensure that persons in charge of operating this machine have the necessary skill and knowledge. All cherry picker operators must undergo extensive training regarding the use of the machine. This is because some of the accidents caused are as a result of untrained personnel operating the machines. Because of lack of knowledge, the operator might overlook some important operational procedures crucial for the safe operation of the unit. An example of a common procedure often bypassed is the deploying of hydraulic triggers before operating the machine.
- Another cause is when the operator doesn’t pay attention to the obstacles in his or her path when operating the machine. This, unfortunately, results in a tip-over.
- Not following the manufacturer’s instructions with regards to operating and using the unit is another risk factor.
12 Safety Tips for Cherry Picker Operators
Now that you have the reasons behind most accidents, let’s look at a few handy tips to ensure the operator’s safety.
As we mentioned before, the lack of training is one of the common causes of accidents when operating this machine. And as such, it’s no surprise why training is at the top of our list. Make sure all your cherry picker operators get the relevant training regarding machine operation.
Please Follow Instructions:
Every cherry picker—as with any product—comes with a set of instructions. Not taking the time to read these instructions will be to your detriment. We encourage all workers involved in the operation of this unit not only read but also adhere to the recommended instructions.
Regular Inspection and Maintenance:
Your cherry pickers must undergo regular inspections by qualified mechanics. And we recommend that these inspections are done at least twice a year.
It’s advisable not to skip any scheduled inspection dates. That’s the only way the mechanic can ascertain whether the cherry picker is in the right working condition. He or she will repair or replace the machine parts where necessary.
But don’t leave the inspection to the professionals, the operator must also inspect the machine before and after use. Who knows; he or she might notice a loose screw.
Use Safety Devices:
With the inspections out of the way, it’s imperative that the operator uses the recommended safety devices when operating the unit. It’s important to note that these safety devices mustn’t be viewed as an option but rather as a requirement.
Avoid Overhead Hazards:
It’s important that the cherry picker operator avoids overhead hazards at all times. The operator must maintain safe clearance and keep a distance of at least 3ft away from overhead power lines.
Cherry picker operators must wear the necessary fall protection devices each time they operate the machine.
Avoid Risky Position:
We encourage all cherry picker operators to work safely and avoid positions that may put them in danger during operation of the unit. This includes; avoiding standing, sitting or climbing on the bucket edge.
Avoid Truck Movement:
You must avoid moving the trucks, especially while the bucket is raised as this may also cause an accident.
Cherry pickers have a load capacity that they can handle at any given time. It’s important to adhere to the specified load capacity and stick within the recommended ranges. Avoid overloading the vehicle by all means. This kind of information is usually found inside the manufacturer’s instruction guide and that’s why we’ll reiterate the importance of reading it.
You must avoid parking the vehicle on an irregular or sloped surface as this may result in tipping. Make sure the machine is parked on a level surface at all times.
Use Hydraulic Outriggers:
It’s important to engage hydraulic outriggers before you start operating the cherry picker. This system is designed to securely stabilize the machine making it safer during operation.
It’s in your best interests as a cherry picker operator to consider all power lines as “active”. This means you must assume all power lines are energized, so always keep your distance and practice extra caution around them.
Cherry picker AKA Boom lift operators are at a greater risk of severe injuries or fatal accident accidents than many other labourers. This is why it’s important to conform to the necessary safety guidelines so that such incidences are minimized or eliminated. Not only will the above mentioned safety tips protect the workers, but they’ll also improve the business productivity level.
So make sure you don’t only read these safety precautions, but practice them too. It’s for everyone’s benefit.