Tools, devices, and materials- all those have the potential to cause injuries when dropped, nudged, or pulled from a great height. Dropped objects present a considerable safety concern while working overhead on heavy industrial lifts as well as in an elevated work area. This hazard is often overlooked until an injury serves as a clear reminder. In fact, dropped objects caused 255 worker fatalities in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
The solution to avoid such deadly hazards is simple: “Make the worksite clutter-free, be proactive, take active and passive safety measures, and wear personal protective gear.” Below are some of the smart strategies that you can implement to avoid these hazards. But, first understand what the dropped objects hazards associated with aerial lifts are:
How Aerial Lifts Cause Dropped Objects Hazard?
Aerial lifts allow workers to work at elevations and heights. While a variety of aerial lift models are out there, most are designed for two workers. The lift platform is typically spacious to move around the work area, but when operating in all the tools, devices, and other materials being used- the need for space is never enough.
Aerial lifts are mostly used by maintenance personnel, construction workers, and utility workers. These workers typically have materials and tools with them and do their job from inside the limits of the basket.
When two workers perform job functions and use equipment in the same bucket- the chances of accidentally dropped objects become higher.
Toeboards and rails, along with mesh, are a much-needed feature in all aerial lifts. The purpose of the toeboard is not only to protect workers from falling, but they also prevent objects from dropping off the platform.
What Happens Inside The Lift Bucket?
Worksites often have limited space, requiring occupants to move the lift around objects on the floor. Both occupants are equipped with personal protective wear. Work associated with aerial lifts is commonly performed on objects and surfaces that are overhead. Usual scenarios need workers to reach over the rail to access the work.
In most cases, workers are mandated to wear gloves, making it hard to handle equipment and tools with precision. All of the above factors serve as a high level of risk for falling objects from aerial lifts and scissor lifts.
Dropped Object Hazard Prevention
OSHA forbids any work material or debris to be on the floor and collect on scaffolding, aerial lifts, and scissor lifts. Plus, some safety measures are designed to protect workers from dropping objects, including safety nets and other preventative measures. According to OSHA safety standards – workers must be trained and have scissor lift certification to recognize hazards and maintain overall workplace safety. A well-trained lift operator will remain proactive and is the best help for falling object prevention. With proper training, dropped objects hazards happen a lot less often!
Even with safety nets, hard hats, and other safeguards, this deadly hazard can cause fatality, injury, and even death. That is why it’s crucial to avoid objects from dropping in the first place.
So, to increase safety, while reducing the chances of dropped objects from scissor lifts and aerial lifts, make sure there are no loose tools on the aerial work platform. Securing hardware, tools, and other materials is a common preventative measure for falling objects.
When you are well aware of the fact that tools and materials are there in the bucket all the time- keeping the bucket organized will help eliminate awkward actions and thus prevents falling objects! Organization is the key for workers of any industry – but for jobs on construction sites, this can save lives!