Knowing bucket truck safety while operating the vehicle is just as important and essential as putting this safety awareness into practice during the operation of the vehicle. There are recommended procedures that are very helpful and should be observed during use of the truck to avoid tipping, electrocution, falling or other accidents that could be caused by carelessness.
OSHA mandates rules and regulations for every bucket truck owner and operator to strictly follow. Furthermore, this set of rules and regulations is reinforced by federal law. These are clear and effective procedures to be followed before and during any lifting job. Following are some checklists that detail necessary safety items to be considered.
Before Operation Checklist
Ensure that the truck is in good working condition and that every component is properly functioning.
Operators and crews should have thorough knowledge of the tasks being performed.
Check to make sure that the vehicle is free from any fluid leaks.
Tires and lighting should be working properly and in good condition.
Test all body safety gear and make sure each crew member wears it properly.
Make sure to have a complete set of safety pads for the outriggers.
Make sure that the boom is cradled properly before traveling.
During Operation Checklist
Make sure that only trained workers are allowed to do any aerial lift operations. Trained employees are fully aware of any potential hazards and have adequate knowledge to properly operate bucket trucks.
It is prohibited for any worker to belt off to another pole or structure when working in high places.
Fall protection must be worn by employees or a lanyard should be attached to the tub of the vehicle.
Workers should only stand on the floor of the tub and should not attempt to stand or sit anywhere else.
Load and weight limits should be strictly abided by and never exceeded.
If operating on an incline, workers should make sure to use the wheel chocks.
Brakes and outriggers should be set on a solid surface. If outriggers are set on dirt or uneven surfaces, make sure to use safety pads for the outriggers.
Do not attempt to move the vehicle from one place to another when there is a person in the bucket.
Only operate the lower controls when absolutely necessary, such as during an emergency or when requested by the operator inside the bucket.
Make sure to have proper clearance when working near power lines.
Operators and crews should always wear hard hats.
Additional Safety Regulations
Before getting on the highway, the vehicle should be locked in the lower traveling position and the crew should not attempt to use the bucket during highway travel.
Drivers should be aware of low or narrow places while driving, since the bucket and boom add height to the vehicle when stored. An inspection should be done before moving the vehicle to verify that it is safe to move it.
When there is a need for any modifications on the vehicle, truck owners should acquire written approval from either the manufacturer or any recognized testing laboratory.
With the use of bucket trucks comes potential hazards; adhering to OSHA’s rules and regulations means that when being operated, the vehicle will be effective and productive. Each owner and operator should also be aware that OSHA continuously revises its policies, so it is important to constantly update the company’s safety standards according to OSHA. Safety should always be the top priority and all workers should practice safe bucket truck operations!