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Aerial lift at work: What's wrong with this picture?

Updated: Mar 13

There are several sites that show pictures of real laborers at work, and then challenge readers to figure out what safety violations are taking place in the image. Recently, a site displayed the image at right, which shows an aerial lift working next to a building, with one of its four wheels about a foot off the ground. Why is one wheel off the ground? It appears that the basket may be overloaded, given its current position. If the lift tipped over, these two workers would probably be seriously injured or killed. One wheel off the ground was the most obvious safety violation, and was the "correct answer," according to the website. But we found a few OTHER things that are cause for concern from a safety standpoint: 1. The lift is parked next to a truck; in fact, it appears to be almost touching the truck's front bumper. If tools or other objects are dropped from the basket, they are likely to hit the truck, potentially breaking its front windshield. Ideally, the truck should be moved out of the immediate work area. 2. No wheel chocks: It appears the aerial lift is being used on a slight incline. If that's the case, then the wheels must be chocked, according to OSHA 1910.67(c)(2)(vii). 3. Wires or hoses appear to be dangling from the basket of the lift. While this doesn't violate any safety regulations, it could be potentially unsafe, especially if the workers plan to move the aerial lift along the wall they're working on. Workers should take extreme care when moving their work platform if hoses, cables or wires are attached to equipment on the ground. Where possible, workers in the basket should first make use of any built-in connectors for electrical, welding and air. 4. This work crew should have secured the area immediately around their lift, with cones, barriers or other devices to make people on the ground aware to be careful in its vicinity. Because these lifts are often moved while crews are doing work on buildings, these barriers are especially important. It's good to see that the laborers in this photo ARE wearing safety harnesses. Interested in related products? See: Aerial Work Platform Checklist or Aerial Work Platform Operation & Safety

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