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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Exercise the Highest Safety Standards When Using Your Bucket Truck!

Bucket trucks are complex and powerful pieces of machinery. Depending on the nature of the company's aerial tasks, this mobile technology comes in a number of shapes and sizes, and is used for a number of different purposes. It's most commonly utilized by power utility companies. By exercising the highest safety standards when using this powerful piece of equipment, any aerial tasks can be completed comfortably and efficiently.

Only well-trained personnel should be allowed to operate these powerful pieces of equipment for safety reasons. Well-trained operators are those who are not only familiar with the user and maintenance manuals, and OSHA Safety guidelines, but also are properly trained operators and understand any safety procedures and be able to execute them in the field.

Daily Safety Checks

Before starting and after any operations are finished, operators should conduct a thorough safety check to detect if any vehicle damage has occurred or leaks have sprung up. This will help in determining any potential safety hazards and making the necessary repairs on the damages at this early stage will prevent any problems from getting worse. Visual inspection of the vehicle exterior is very important to identify broken, loose, missing or damaged parts. For vehicle tires, check tire bulges, pressure levels and cuts. The engine and hydraulic systems should be checked for oil and leaks, and the vehicle exterior must be free from cracks and any signs of rust. Any lighting should be fully functional and all decals and stickers on or around the boom should be present. Make sure also that the control labels are understandable, in their proper place and legible.

Bucket Truck Work Site Safety

Most accidents happen at the work site, so operators should perform inspections and spend time surveying the site before deploying the vehicle. Check for drop offs, holes, debris and bumps. Park the vehicle on stable and even ground. When the vehicle is in park, wheel chocks must be in position and the emergency brake should be engaged. The work site should also be free from any overhead obstructions, and operation should be cancelled if the wind speed is 30 miles per hour or higher, or any weather threat like an electrical storm is forecasted.

Fall hazards at a work site can be avoided if the worker keeps their feet on the floor of the bucket and makes sure it's clear of debris or equipment. They must also avoid sitting, climbing or standing on the edge of the basket. While inside the lifted bucket, they should never attempt to increase work height by any means such as using ladders or step tools. Fall protection must be worn at all times.

To avoid tip-over hazards, operators must see to it that while the bucket is raised, there are no objects that are being pushed or pulled, the vehicle should never be moved to another location and load capacity should never exceed 300 lb. It is also not wise to use the boom as a crane. Never attempt to carry other objects such as ladders inside the bucket. Operation should be avoided during storms or when there are high winds. Park the vehicle on even ground and ensure that outriggers are properly positioned during operation.

The highest safety standards should be exercised in the workplace to properly use a bucket truck. Operators must be well-trained and should perform the necessary safety checks of the vehicle while in the garage. They should also inspect the work site and make sure that the best safety practices are being facilitated during operation at all times.

Christopher M. Hunter is an expert in commercial specialty trucks. Click here to find out more about Bucket Trucks.

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