Precautions To Take When Operating a Manlift

In 2017, around 20 people were injured by falls from aerial lifts during the course of their duties. Some of these injuries were fatal.

Operating a manlift can be dangerous and should only ever be done by a competent person. But, no matter how qualified you are, there are still some things you must take into account when operating this kind of machinery.


1. Check the Manlift Inspection Record

Before you even consider using any lifting machinery, look at the inspection record for that particular lift.

Different kinds of lifts have unique criteria that must be met before operating them. Be sure to conduct the appropriate function test before you start work. Specifically, take a walk around the manlift and make sure the following are in good order:

  • emergency controls
  • operating controls
  • outriggers
  • guardrails
  • wheels and tires

Also, it’s important to remember:

  • There should be no air, fuel, or hydraulic fuel leaks.
  • Likewise, the fall protection safety gear provided with the machine should be in excellent order.
  • Like any heavy mechanical equipment, scissor lifts can be dangerous if not handled with the utmost care.
  • By law, all aerial lifts must undergo routine checks every 30 days at least. These inspections must be carried out by a competent person and signed off on the relevant forms.

2. Use the Correct Safety Gear

Don’t operate any lift without the required safety gear in place.

Every worker must wear three safety items while operating a manlift:

  1. The full body harness is strapped to your torso. This safety item will keep you upright if you fall. It can greatly reduce the risk of head trauma.
  2. Connectors must be attached to a safe anchorage point. This tie-off point is usually a scaffold, l-beam, column, or other firm structure.
  3. You also need a connecting device that attaches the body harness to an anchorage point.

3. Inspect the Surroundings

It is vitally important to ensure that your safety is not at risk due to the environment. Take note of any sloped areas that could make maneuvering the lift hazardous. Other noteworthy aspects are drop-offs, bumps, debris, and power lines.

4. Refresher Courses Are Key

Operating a lift of any kind can be risky business. It’s your responsibility to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and training in your field. This includes mandatory safety training.

Knowing your limits and increasing your understanding can avoid nasty accidents in the workplace.

5. Know the Shutdown Procedure

Make sure you are familiar with the correct shutdown procedure for the machine you are operating.

Run through all the steps in your mind and practice them often. These include engaging the emergency-stop button and lowering the platform. You must also turn the key switches to the off position and remove the key.

When not in use, a manlift should be inaccessible to unauthorized personnel.

Safety First

Whenever you step up to operate heavy machinery, it pays off to do your research. Always:

  • Take your time to perform routine checks.
  • Avoid distractions and follow all safety procedures.
  • Refrain from operating damaged or faulty machinery.

Get in touch with us for a new custom-built lift that meets your needs and your safety requirements!