Did you ever notice a guy standing high up in a bucket, working on electric or telephone lines?  Looks like fun for those of us who don’t make our living doing that.  But there are safety risks involved, such as falls, electrocutions, and tip-overs for workers who stand in cherry pickers or bucket trucks, which are held up by boom-supported aerial platforms.

According to OSHA, the following safe work practices are encouraged:

  • Always treat power lines, wires and other conductors as energized, even when they are down or appear to be insulated.
  • A restraining belt with a lanyard attached to the boom or basket to prevent the worker(s) from being pulled from the basket should always be used.
  • If provided, use outriggers.
  • Unless permitted by the manufacturer, never move the equipment with workers in an elevated position.
  • Hydraulic, mechanical, or electrical safety devices should never be overridden.
  • Workers who operate aerial lifts are to be properly trained in the safe use of the equipment.
  • Elevating work platforms should be maintained and operated according to manufacturers instructions.
  • Load limits of equipment should not be exceeded.  The combined weight of worker, tools and materials should be considered.

The next time you see one of these workers, you might just say thanks for getting your power, cable, or telephone back on line during that last storm.  Their job is not an easy one!