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Standard Operating Procedures University of Central Oklahoma

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University of Central Oklahoma

Standard Operating Procedures for Aerial Lifts

31 construction laborers were killed in aerial lift mishaps, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Boom supported lifts were involved in 58 percent of the deaths; scissor lifts in the rest. Electricians had the most fatalities at 25 percent. Laborers had the second most at 15 percent, followed by painters at 8 percent, and carpenters at 5 percent. For construction workers as a Whole, electrocutions were the most common cause of aerial lift fatalities. All of the electrocuted workers were killed when the lift came into contact with overhead power lines. Among laborers falls took the highest toll at 45 percent. Half of the laborers falls were caused by ejections from the bucket, or of the platform. Statistical comparison suggests that with approximately 1200 total construction deaths and 194,400 lost work day injuries likely are caused annually by aerial lift mishaps.
The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedure involving aerial lifts is to insure a safe and healthy work environment for the University of Central Oklahoma Campus Community.
Scope and Application
These Standard Operating Procedures apply to all aerial lift operations that involve loading, unloading, and transport at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Hazard Evaluation
The following conditions occurring during aerial lift operations can result in property damage, personal injury, or death.

  • Exceeding the load capacity of the lift which may result in tip-over or structural failure.

  • Falls from an elevated level.

  • Objects or items falling out of lifts.

  • Electrical hazards (power lines, extension cords).

  • Contact with stationary objects (walls, ceilings, and piping) that may result in entrapment or crushing hazard.

  • High winds or inclement weather such as hail, snow, or lightning.

  • Uneven terrain that may cause the lift to tip-over or eject the operator.

Standard Operating Procedures for Operating Aerial Lifts

  • Inspect the lift prior to using (operating controls, outriggers, guard rails, platform, frame, mast, mast cables and lift cylinder).

  • Inspect the work surface. Look for hazards such as holes, drop-offs, bumps, debris, loose material, and overhead power lines.

  • Lift operators must be trained by a qualified person. As defined by OSHA 1926.450(b), a qualified person – By extensive knowledge, training, and experience can solve problems related to subject matter.

  • Operators shall not climb on or lean over guard rails.

  • Operators shall not exceed manufacturer’s load capacity limits.

  • Non-electrical workers must stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.

  • Operators shall not drive with platform elevated.

  • Operators shall not raise platform on soft or uneven surfaces.

  • Operators shall not raise platform in windy or gusty conditions.

  • Operators shall not operate lifts in inclement weather.

  • Platform gate shall be closed before operating the lift.

  • The use of planks, ladders, or any other device in or on the work platform for achieving additional working height is prohibited.

  • Operators shall not modify or alter an aerial lift. Mounting attachments or other material increases the weight of the lift.

  • Operators shall not use the lift to push or pull another object.

  • When the lift is unattended it shall be secured to protect against unauthorized use.

  • The altering of safety devices is prohibited.

  • The lift shall be leveled using the manufacturer’s outriggers and leveling devices.

  • Operators shall use fall protection (harness, lanyard) connected to anchorage points on the platform.

Standard Operating Procedures for Loading/Unloading Aerial Lifts

  • Forklift shall be used to load and unload lifts.

  • Only trained operators are authorized to operate a forklift.

  • Forklift operators shall be licensed by a qualified person.

  • No unloading of lifts in confined areas.

  • Lifts shall never be moved by only one person.

Standard Operating Procedures for Transporting Aerial Lifts

  • Forklifts shall be used to transport lifts.

  • Only trained operators are authorized to operate a forklift.

  • Forklift operators shall be licensed by a qualified person.

  • Lifts need to be secure during transport.

  • Operators shall not be in the lift during transport.

  • Lifts will not be transported on trailers.

  • Lifts will be clear of material during transport.

Additional Work Practices for UCO Employees and Aerial Lift Operators

  • Ensure that workers are trained in aerial lift operations.

  • Ensure that workers are trained in fall protection.

  • Ensure that workers are trained and licensed in forklift operations.

  • Ensure that aerial lift is in good working conditions.

  • Ensure that workers follow safety procedures.


  • Inspect lift prior to using.

  • Do not exceed manufacturer’s load capacity limits.

  • Be aware of work surface.

  • Must be trained in aerial lift operations.

  • Must be trained in fall protection.

  • Must be trained and licensed in forklift operations.

  • Lift shall be taken out of service when damaged or needing repaired.


  1. 29 CFR 1926.450(b), “Scaffolds”

  2. 29 CFR 1926.453, “Aerial Lifts”

  3. 29 CFR 1926.503, “Fall Protection”

  4. 29 CFR 1926.104, “Safety Belts, Lifelines, and Lanyards”

  5. 29 CFR 1910.66, “Powered Platforms, and Vehicle Mounted Work Platforms”

  6. ANSI A92.6-1999, “Self-Propelled Elevating Work Platforms”

JLG 30DC Aerial Lift Inspection Checklist

  • Operator’s Manual on Lift.

  • Check Battery Compartment for Leaks. No Corrosion Present At Connections.

  • Platform Guard Rail; No Loose or Missing Parts, No Visible Damage.

  • Platform Gate Or Slide Bar Functions Properly, No Visible Damage.

  • Mast; No Visible Damage, Abrasions and/Or Distortions.

  • Mast Chains & Cables; No Visible Damage, Cable Properly Tensioned.

  • Lift Cylinder; No Rust, Nicks or Foreign Material on Piston Rod. No Leakage.

  • Frame; No Visible Damage, Loose or Missing Hardware.

  • Wheels; Free Rolling, No Loose or Missing Parts.

  • Check Hydraulic Fluid Level. Maintain Oil Level To The “Fill Line” Indicator.

  • Machine Controls; Switches Operable, No Visible Damage.

  • Outrigger; Socket Not Bent or Damaged, Outrigger Beam Locking Pins Properly Secured; Outrigger Interlock LED’s Properly Secured and Undamaged.

List Any Problems______________________________

Signature: ___________________

Date: _______________________
Platform Lift Equipment Inspection


Out O.K.

Repair Needed

In O.K.

1. Mast

2. Platform

3. Guard Rail

4. Frame

5. Hydraulic Oil

6. Battery

7. Platform Controls

8. Ground Controls

9. Outrigger

10. Lift Cylinder

11. Cables

12. Wheels

13. Ground Controls

14. Leaks

15. Control Valve

16. Motor/Pump

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