What are Aerial Work Platforms Used For?

What are Aerial Work Platforms Used For

What are Aerial Work Platforms Used For?

Aerial work platforms (AWP) describe a group of elevated machines that includes aerial lifts, elevating work platforms, and mobile elevating work platforms. They may also be referred to as cherry pickers or scissor lifts. Generally, aerial work platforms are used for a variety of maintenance and construction purposes and operated by a wide range of professionals.

No matter how or where an aerial work platform is used, all operators are required to complete an aerial lift certification by OSHA. This training ensures that all workers are competent in operating all types of aerial machines properly, and are prepared to prevent accidents involving aerial work platforms in the following types of situations.

Construction and Building Maintenance

The types of aerial work platforms typically used in construction are aerial lifts, articulating boom lifts, and telescopic boom lifts. Aerial work platforms are made for reaching levels of heights that other types of machines can not. Telescopic aerial lifts are designed for their maximum reach capabilities and articulating boom lifts are helpful assets on construction and building maintenance sites that have structures in hard to reach areas. Articulating boom lifts have jointed boom arms that can reach up and around structures to access things like heat and cooling units, duct work, piping, and more.

Window Washing/Repair

Ever wonder who cleans the windows at the top of a building? Aerial work platform operators! Aerial lifts, articulating boom lifts, and telescopic boom lifts are made for reaching otherwise inaccessible heights. Designed with a basket or bucket on the end of the boom arm, these types of aerial work platforms can hold workers and the necessary tools needed to install, repair, and clean windows. Telescopic boom lifts are often used for window work because they’re equipped with the reach power to access the highest windows on a building. They can lift and situate the window washer directly in front of the work area.

Orchard Work

Also known as aerial lifts, cherry pickers got their name because they were first designed and used for work in orchards, reaching and picking fruit. Today, they are used for that same purpose, amongst many others. Cherry pickers are narrow enough to operate between the rows of fruit trees while accommodating one worker in the bucket.

Electrical Line Repair

Telescopic boom lifts are the most commonly used aerial work platform for electrical work. This machine is designed with the longest reaching arm that can extend vertical and horizontal. The operator working the controls positions the boom lift directly underneath the work area, while another worker stands up in the bucket or basket and accesses the electrical line. 

Tree Care Work

It’s often aerial work platforms that are the only thing tall enough to compete with trees. Arborists are the professionals who climb trees, cut down limbs and trees, and generally maintain trees on residential and commercial properties. Aerial lifts are often brought in to allow workers to reach the areas of trees that need to be worked on. Climbing a tree comes with plenty of risks, and an aerial lift can help arborists avoid accidents and OSHA has aimed to put more focus on tree care regulations.  However, climbing is sometimes a necessity for tree work and many companies find that having both options at a worksite is the key to getting the job done safely and most efficiently.

Special Event and Entertainment Work

Celebrities like Katy Perry have used aerial lifts to hoist them up above the crowd and transport them around a stage to boost the wow-factor in their performances. Aerial lifts certainly make a statement, no matter where they are. Performing artists have often relied on using one in their show to impress their fans and make headlines.

Besides for show purposes, aerial lifts are often used in the set-up of special events behind the scenes. Workers use aerial lifts to install the lighting for concerts, hang speakers and banners, and more. As an aerial lift operator, you can be involved in special events around you much more often than a singer gets to ride one for a performance.

Roller Coaster Repair and Maintenance

Most amusement parks have their own aerial work platforms on hand at the ready to access a roller coaster should any malfunctions occur, possibly trapping park goers on the ride. Telescopic boom lifts have the reach power needed to access the highest point of many roller coasters and can even bring guests down to safety if an emergency arose.

Indoor Retail Areas and Warehouses

Aerial work platforms come in many shapes and sizes and are used for many applications. Scissor lifts are smaller in scale than aerial lifts, telescopic boom lifts, and articulating boom lifts and are often used indoors. Electric scissor lifts are propelled by a system of criss-crossing beams and can only extend vertically, straight up from the base. They are used in many retail settings to perform building maintenance and repairs. Many electric scissor lifts are made with narrow platforms and are also used in warehouses to handle various loads. They don’t emit fumes so they are safe for work around citizens and workers.

Choose CertifyMeOnline.net for Aerial Lift Certification

No matter how or where aerial work platforms are used, the key to performing all of these different types of jobs successfully and safely is to ensure all workers are trained and certified. Aerial lift certification is the number one tool for preventing accidents on the job and boosting productivity.

CertifyMeOnline.net offers the number one online aerial lift certification course on the market. Students work through the training modules at their own pace and can immediately print their certificate upon complete. For only $75 for aerial lift and scissor lift training in one convenient program, you or your workplace can be compliant with all OSHA regulations and prepared to operate all types of aerial work platforms safely.

The course covers how to operate aerial lifts, how to perform inspections, how to assess the environment for hazards, and how to avoid accidents.

Take a few minutes to create an account and complete aerial lift certification today!

How to Avoid an Aerial Lift Tip-Over

Prevent tip-overs

According to OSHA, one of the most common types of aerial lift accidents is tip overs, and the second leading cause of injury and fatality involving aerial lifts. While preventing aerial lift tip overs is largely in the hands of the operators, employers can do their part by ensuring all workers are properly trained and have a safe working environment.  Continue reading

osha updates

OSHA Updates to Look for in 2017

OSHA makes updates to their regulations every year with the objective to continuously improve workplace safety and efficiency. When workplace functions are more efficient, safety is often easier to obtain and hazards are more easily and quickly caught to help prevent accidents from happening. For 2017, OSHA is updating their policies on tracking workplace injuries and illnesses, and the policy on walking-working surfaces and personal fall protection systems to make workplaces safer and more efficient.

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How to Cone off an Aerial Lift

How to Cone Off and Taper an Aerial Lift Work Zone

A recent incident on December 13, 2016, made news when a local resident captured a video of improper work zone marking performed by utility workers. Comcast employees failed to properly alert and steer drivers clear of the aerial lift work zone and consider the slippery road conditions, causing a few slide-offs and one minor collision.

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The Importance of Fall Protection

The Importance of Fall protection

The most common cause of fatal accidents on work sites in the construction industry are from falls, according to the 2014 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The census included accidents caused by violence, transportation incidences, fires and explosions, exposure to harmful substances, and contact with objects and equipment. Due to the amount of annual fall-related fatalities and the relationship between operators’ actions and the equipment’s influence, OSHA has made safety training a requirement for all construction workers, especially heavy equipment operators. As part of this training, the Fall Protection program was created to deliver comprehensive information specifically on fall hazards, teaching workers how to recognize them and avoid them to protect their life and the lives of others around them. Continue reading