In any and all industries, safety is a prime factor, something that all companies must take very seriously. Even though the very design of the most commercial equipment makes them safer, the protection of operators is still a top priority in the use of boom trucks as well as other similar vehicles. Since falls from buckets are a frequent type of accident encountered by those who work with such trucks, knowing how to prevent them is essential and must be a regular part of safety training for operators of knuckleboom trucks.
Fall Protection Gear
Even though the goal is to avoid fall incidents, those working with elevating equipment like boom trucks should always use the equipment designed to lower the risk of serious injury if a fall should happen. This important gear includes a body harness, a shock-absorbing lanyard, and something solid on the bucket that the lanyard will attach to that can withstand the force of a person’s weight as affected by gravity. Additional to such essentials, operators should always use reflective and protective hand, foot, head, and eye gear, the reflective needed in order to always be seen no matter when and where the work is being done.
The Best Fall Protection Is Prevention
Although the goal is to avoid falls completely, the fact remains that incidents will happen from time to time. Between the equipment and boom truck being used, the surrounding environment, people both on and off the job site, and even how an operator might be feeling, it is impossible to eliminate all risks; so the goal must be to prevent actual falls despite all these risks as well as to make any falls that happen less serious.
Preventing dangerous situations with boom trucks involves having the right gear and using all of it correctly. Operators must know how to correctly wear the harness and lanyard to begin with; otherwise, it cannot provide the necessary protection that was planned. Cranes of all kinds must also have a built-in lanyard attachment point that is strong enough to prevent a fall while keeping a falling person away from dangerous equipment.
Operators of boom trucks must be well trained on the proper length of lanyards and whether it can be repositioned with the anchor point; most lifting equipment has only one anchor place to anchor that is built in on the boom, bucket, or platform. Most importantly, operators must understand that removing the lanyard or harness is not the best way to deal with maneuverability issues; although moving the equipment will take longer and be more inconvenient, doing anything else is an invitation for disaster.
Working with a boom truck and other aerial lifts is safer now than it has ever been; however, serious injuries and deaths occur every year due to falls while using this equipment. The biggest cause is incorrectly worn harnesses, incorrectly attached lanyards, and the failure to use the safety harnesses and lanyards at all. This should send an important message about safety to companies and employees.
It would be beneficial to assign fall prevention specialists in the crews to put employees in charge of ensuring that very worker is utilizing all safety gear as it was designed as well as always following all safety regulations. The risk of falling will always exist as long as workers are working in boom truck arms lifted into the air – fall protection and avoidance must be taken seriously by every employee!
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