Monthly Archives: December 2021

A Comprehensive Guide to Boom Lifts

What is a Boom LiftBoom trucks are commonly seen around construction sites and tall structures to lift workers up in the air for areas beyond the reach of a ladder. Any operator driving a boom lift must be certified to do so to maintain compliance with OSHA.

What is a Boom Lift?

So what is a boom lift, exactly? It’s a vehicle which carries workers with their tools and supplies to their worksite, which is off the ground. There are two types of boom lifts, which are designed for unique situations. A telescopic boom lift, also known as a straight boom lift or stick boom, has a single arm, which can reach a long distance. They work best in an open area and are stable enough for various terrain.

The second type of boom lift is the articulating boom lift, which is also called a knuckle lift. This lift has segmented arms, which works in tight areas and fits around obstacles. This design allows them to work on more complicated structures and in crowded areas, such as downtown of a busy city.

Boom lifts have the option of diesel, gas, electric and even hybrid power for their source. They may be two- or four-wheel drive to handle all kinds of terrain. They can also come with tires or treads to fit various conditions. You can also choose from various sizes, starting from 30-footers that are low enough and thin enough to fit through a doorway. For the big jobs, you can use a 180-foot boom lift, which has a reach of 19 stories.

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How to Drive a Boom Lift

Before starting to operate the boom lift, inspect the condition and ensure all components are operational. This includes checking the fuel level, condition of the tires, and hoses. To start the lift, turn the remote key switch to Platform Control on the ground control panel. This is the panel to control the operation of the lift. Pull the red Kill Switch button.

Latch the gate after getting into a work basket. Fasten the lanyard to the D ring, which you’ll find on the platform. Pull the red kill switch, which allows the engine to start and power up the console. Push the start switch for the engine, which usually has a symbol of an engine. Place your foot in the control engage lever, which has a boot-like enclosure. The engine should rev up once you press down.

Begin raising the boom by toggling the joystick, starting out slowly. Select a slow speed if the lift has a speed control, which may be identified by a turtle and rabbit. Toggle the joystick in the direction where you want the boom to move. Then, toggle the right joystick to turn the wheels. The faster you move the joysticks, the faster the machine will move. If you want to operate a boom lift, you will need proper training and certification. This is a dangerous machine, which can cause harm to others and yourself while also putting your worksite in danger of fines from OSHA.

Boom Lift Operator Certification Needs

If you or a person you are hiring plans to drive a boom lift, they need to receive boom lift certification. OSHA requires every operator to be certified and properly trained before working with a boom lift. They must know how to operate a boom lift, how to inspect it, and how to check for hazards and avoid them.

Training is simple and adapts to each person. An online certification course from CertifyMeOnline allows you to learn from anywhere at your own pace. Once the course has been completed, you will receive a certification test from a certified trainer. An employer can choose an employee to be the trainer to handle the testing. They just need to complete the train the trainer course from CertifyMeOnline.

Consequences of Not Certifying Employees to Drive Boom Lifts

If a company allows an uncertified operator on a boom lift, they are in violation of OSHA rules. Businesses are audited by OSHA all the time and face penalties and fines if their operators aren’t all certified.

A survey was conducted by CertifyMe with 100 participants. Out of those, 53 had an audit of their safety plan. A total of 85 had been fined by OSHA some time before with 57 of them paying out more than $100,000.

You want to avoid those fines for your business or for your employer by getting certified as a boom lift operator. Boom lift certification protects you, others around you, and your employer.

What Types of Boom Lifts Are Available?

1. Articulating Boom Lifts

Also called a “knuckle” boom, this type of lift uses a bucket on a swiveling turntable at the end of an articulating arm. The unique design provides vertical and horizontal flexibility.

An articulating boom has a max vertical reach of 125 ft. and can extend horizontally to 75% of its height. The boom can also be extended in sections, allowing workers to maneuver up and over obstacles.

Articulating booms can be used for indoor and outdoor jobs. Indoor models are electrically powered and tend to be smaller than their outdoor counterparts. Outdoor knuckle booms are usually diesel-powered or can be towed to a worksite.

2. Telescopic Boom Lifts

Telescopic boom lifts provide more vertical height than other boom lifts. Like knuckle lifts, telescopic boom lifts have a bucket situated on the end of a telescopic arm, but the arm can only extend in a straight line. During use, the arm goes straight out horizontally, then goes up and down as needed. Because the arm can only move in one direction, telescopic booms are sometimes called “stick” booms.

With platform heights that range from 40 ft. to 80 ft, telescopic booms are ideal for work at tall buildings and other elevated work environments. However, the biggest telescopic boom lifts can reach up to 185 ft. in vertical height, which makes them ideal for a wide range of industrial projects.

To support working safely at heights, telescoping booms tend to have wider bases than articulating lifts. Rough-terrain telescoping booms that use stabilization require a work surface of 10 ft. or more. Yet, because they have a single boom, telescoping booms are easier to operate than articulating booms.

3. Atrium Lifts

Atrium lifts are a special type of articulated boom lift, since they don’t have wheels. Instead, atrium lifts use tracks (like those on excavators) for mobility. This ensures atrium lifts are safe to use on different terrains.

In terms of size and weight, atrium lifts are narrower and lighter than other boom lifts. This lets atrium lifts reach maximum heights up to 60 ft. In addition, atrium lifts can handle heavy loads and use folding outriggers to keep them anchored in place.

Also, the low ground pressure of atrium lifts allows them to be used indoors and outdoors. The chassis disperses an atrium lift’s weight over a wide area, so it can safely be used on lawns, pavement, marble, and other surfaces. Atrium lifts can be deployed in tight areas and where steep surface inclines make it unsafe to use self-propelled or scissor booms as well.

Selecting the Right Boom Lift

As you evaluate the various types of boom lifts and try to determine which is right for your needs, it’s important to ask as many questions as possible. Is the jobsite indoors or outside? Is the terrain smooth or uneven? What is access to the jobsite like? Will employees work head-on, underneath, or overhead? Consider mobility, too – will horizontal or vertical mobility be necessary, or will operators simply move straight up and down?

Work requirements should also play a factor in determining which type of boom lift is right for the job. Consider how many workers will need to be on the platform and the types of tools they’ll need to complete their duties. This plays into weight considerations, too. Factor in how much weight the lift will need to carry and the limitations of the job surface. Only once you’ve addressed each of these factors can you truly begin to select the right lift for the job. 

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Sign Up for Aerial Lift Safety Training from

Regardless of which type of boom lift you choose, be sure to train and certify each operator on the specific model in use. In doing so, you can foster a safe work environment and guard against aerial lift accidents that can lead to injuries and fatalities.

At, we offer many safety training courses for all types of aerial lifts. Whether you’re brand new to operating boom lifts or have years of experience under your belt, it’s important to get OSHA certified every three years. Convenient, affordable online courses make it easier than ever to stay in compliance with OSHA regulations. In about one hour, you can learn everything you need to know about how to operate a boom lift and be ready to get to work. 

We even offer a “Train the Trainer” course that’s perfect for educating an entire team of lift operators. If you’re hoping to invest in safety in your organization without shelling out individual training fees for each member of the team, this option is an excellent choice.

To find out more, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

Knuckle Boom Lifts: How They Work, Lift Capacity & More

learn what a knuckle boom lift is

There are about five types of aerial work platforms (AWPs) and mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), and each has its advantages and disadvantages. The knuckle boom lift, also known as the articulating man lift, is one of the most popular types of AWPs, and it offers immense flexibility and versatility.

Does your company use knuckle boom man lifts and articulating boom lifts? If so, has OSHA approved training and certification for every operator. Employers are responsible for providing the training required to operate equipment like articulating man lifts. If you’re not sure where to start with OSHA regulations & requirements – and many companies aren’t – we’ll take care of your training needs. 

Register your company with CMO and make sure you’re OSHA compliant…you can’t afford the cost of non-compliance, and your knuckle boom lift operators deserve a safe work environment.

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What Is a Knuckle Boom Lift? Here’s a Closer Look

A knuckle boom lift, sometimes called an “articulating boom lift,” is often used in tight workspaces. This is due to the fact that the lift gives workers the ability to lift themselves or various items up, over, and out with unprecedented precision.

Once in the air, a knuckle boom crane can extend and bend. It has a work platform rather than a bucket, which gives workers extra room to perform their job tasks. The lift also comes with a turntable at the base that allows the boom to swivel. This allows the operator to shift the platform to different areas of a worksite. As a result of these features, the knuckle boom lift can be used in many different types of jobs.

Thanks to its convenient accessibility, high degree of maneuverability and versatile performance characteristics, articulating man lifts are popular in all sorts of industries and job sites. Let’s take a look at where you’ll find knuckle boom man lifts and articulating boom lifts.

What Types of Jobs Is a Knuckle Boom Lift Used for?

Knuckle boom lifts are commonly used by businesses in the oil, forestry, and construction industries. They usually fit through standard doorways and are easy to maneuver around hazards. Plus, knuckle lifts make it simple to access overhead work from aisles or other congested work areas.

With the ability to reach over and around obstacles, knuckle boom man lifts can be positioned right in front of the hard-to-reach work area. They are often be found on job sites involving:

Construction projects

Maintenance and cleaning work

Electric wiring or piping work

Small knuckle boom lifts provide a safer alternative to ladders and scaffolding. They allow lift workers to easily navigate through doorways and in tight spaces. Electric knuckle boom man lifts are quiet and don’t emit harmful fumes. They work well in airports, shopping centers, and other sites where loud noise can be a problem. Mobile boom lifts are designed for jobs that require mobility around the worksite.

What Is the Difference Between an Aerial Lift and a Knuckle Lift?

A knuckle lift has a jointed boom arm; other types of aerial work platforms do not have a jointed boom arm. Furthermore, perhaps the biggest difference between knuckle lifts and other types of lifts is that a knuckle boom truck can bend toward the middle of the boom arm.

Articulating boom lifts are able to reach vertically and horizontally, just like other boom lifts such as telescopic lifts, cherry pickers and typical MEWPs. However, the big advantage with articulating man lifts is they’re able to reach up and over obstacles and structures. 

Unlike other aerial lifts, a knuckle boom lift can be maneuvered horizontally and vertically and rotated 360°. As such, a knuckle lift offers greater maneuverability in contrast to other types of lifts.

While the maneuverability of a knuckle boom lift makes it a top choice in work areas where space is limited, the lift tends to offer a lower weight capacity than telescoping boom lifts. So, to determine if a knuckle lift is the right choice, you should evaluate all of the lift options at your disposal. This allows you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different types of lifts and find the right one based on your work requirements.

How Do You Operate a Knuckle Boom Lift?

If you want to learn how to operate a knuckle boom man lift, you need to enroll in a safety training program. This allows you to learn about a knuckle lift’s controls and how to maneuver the lift on different types of terrain. It also enables you to gain insights into knuckle lift operation hazards and how to avoid lift accidents and injuries.

Knuckle Boom Lift Benefits

Common reasons for using a knuckle boom lift include:

Work takes place in a confined area. Knuckle boom lifts are specially designed to work in tight, confined areas. Also, their small base can fit within congested areas.

You need to reach over obstacles and structures. Knuckle boom lifts can’t reach as far horizontally as some lifts. Yet, they can reach up, over, and out better than most.

The work area is indoors. Electric knuckle boom lifts do not emit toxic fumes. They also use non-marking tires, so they won’t damage floors.

The work area features rugged terrain. Rough-terrain articulating boom lifts can safely handle uneven terrain.

The work requires extra reach from the platform. Some knuckle lifts have a boom extension, also called a jib. This adds another point to move the platform up and down.

Knuckle boom cranes can also be used to move heavyweights from one location to another, which is one of the reasons why they are commonly used in industrial and construction zones. Due to a knuckle truck’s superior lifting capacity, many companies rely on this lifting machine. The ability to move weight can also improve warehouse management and help workers complete tough lifting tasks on time.

Despite being smaller and lighter than most weight-moving machines, knuckle boom lifts provide great payload space than other types of lifts. The small base doesn’t take up a lot of space but offers ample room to load and carry materials. A knuckle lift can sometimes do jobs that would often take two or three machines, too.

Thanks to their design, knuckle boom cranes offer superb control as well. They are easy to operate and highly maneuverable, even in tight spaces. Plus, they can easily switch from one task to another.

Articulating Boom Lifts – FAQs

How Much Does a Knuckle Boom Lift Cost?

The cost of a knuckle boom lift ranges from $25,000 to $200,000, depending on the size of the lift, the manufacturer, the lift’s features, and other factors. You may also be able to rent a knuckle boom crane, with daily, hourly, or monthly rental options available. Check out CMO’s article on the pros and cons of buying and renting an aerial lift.

Which Job Sites are Ideal for an Articulating Man Lift?

The benefits of a knuckle boom lift can be significant. However, this type of lift is not intended for all jobsites.

To determine if a knuckle lift is the right choice for your jobsite, consider these questions:

Can a knuckle boom lift handle the loads that workers will need to haul at my worksite?

Will the lift provide enough working height to access everywhere your operators need to be, including those hard-to-reach places? This is an important safety consideration your supervisor needs to assess before choosing an articulating boom lift.

A knuckle boom lift can be a substantial investment, and your business needs to plan accordingly. One of the most important considerations is safety training, which is where CMO helps ensure your operators are properly trained and 100% OSHA certified! Once workers undergo this training, they will be well-equipped to use a knuckle boom lift and ensure that you can maximize the value of your knuckle lift investment.

What’ the Carrying Capacity of an Articulating Man Lift?

Most articulating boom lifts provide up to 500 pounds of platform capacity. Some models differ, so always make sure to check your operator’s manual before working at height.

Is Articulating Boom Lift Training Necessary?

Absolutely! And as an employer, you’re ultimately responsible for providing all required training. All types of aerial lifts require training and certification for safe handling. Every operator should be trained on the model of lift they use on the job. teaches workers the skills they need to safely use a knuckle lift. These skills include how to:

Handle the lift’s many capabilities

Inspect the equipment prior to each shift

Recognize and avoid hazards that can lead to accidents

Assess the work site for potential hazards

Our online training classes are easy, convenient and affordable. They also comply with all OSHA guidelines.

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Want to Ensure Your Knuckle Boom Lift Operators are OSHA Compliant? Sign Up for Safety Training Today

If your business wants its employees to become OSHA-certified knuckle boom lift operators, safety training is readily available from With our training program, your workers can learn about OSHA safety guidelines, so they are well-equipped to use a knuckle lift at a variety of worksites.

We are available to discuss our knuckle boom lift safety training program, so you can take the first to help your workers become OSHA-compliant boom lift operators. Ready to get started today with your company’s training and certification? Click here to register your company – it only takes a few minutes! To learn more about our program or to enroll your workers in it, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

Is Your Company Due for an OSHA Inspection?

osha inspection checklistBusiness is going well. Your aerial lift workers are up to speed with their safety training. You can’t recall the last time you had an accident. Then, out of the blue, OSHA says they want to inspect your work site.

A visit from OSHA is a real cause for concern. Even a single violation can result in a costly fine up to tens of thousand of dollars. If you have a track record of violations, or one that causes a serious injury or death, it gets worse. For example, OSHA fined the supermarket chain Wegmans $188,000 for repeated safety violations.

The best way to avoid accidents and other situations that would trigger an OSHA inspection is to have top-notch training and certification. has a full selection of training courses and complete certification programs for your entire aerial work platform (AWP) and mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) fleet. Register your company today and enjoy the numerous benefit that come with 100% OSHA certification, including: 

  • • Total preparedness before and during an OSHA inspection
  • • Knowing what an OSHA inspection consists of
  • • The latest safety standards and guidelines, explained in an easy to learn format
  • • Lifetime support
  • • Affordable prices
  • • And much more

CMO prepares your company for all interactions with OSHA, including what to do during an OSHA inspection. CMO knows the ins and outs of OSHA, including a total understanding of their day-to-day functions.  If you know how to prepare for an OSHA inspection, you can take steps to protect your business. Part of this has to do with making sure your aerial lift operators are trained and certified.

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What Triggers an OSHA Inspection?

OSHA safety is all about fair and effective enforcement of health and safety regulations in the workplace. Even though the agency constantly tweaks and changes guidelines related to equipment use, safety and workplace management, their constant goal is to ensure EVERY U.S. business provides a safe workplace for their employees. Obviously, since scissor lifts, aerial lifts, AWPs and MEWPs pose unique safety challenges, any enterprise with this type of equipment may be scrutinized more than other companies.

So what exactly will trigger an OSHA inspection?

Imminent danger

When does OSHA inspect? One major reason is imminent danger. This involves a workplace report that describes any condition that can cause serious injuries or fatalities. These are common in the construction industry, but also happen in industrial settings and similar workplaces. When imminent danger is present, you may find out what you’re doing wrong during an OSHA inspection…not an ideal place for any business owner or supervisor!

Direct complaints

One of the most common reasons for OSHA inspections is direct complaints. Since any employee can report to OSHA in complete anonymity – one of OSHA’s main initiatives is to protect workers’ rights – don’t be surprised if your company is cited for a violation that could trigger a visit from OSHA. Keep in mind, if there is a complaint filed against your company, you are entitled to a written copy of the report. You can always decline the inspection if you don’t think OSHA has probable cause. 

Severe injuries & fatalities

At the top of any OSHA inspection checklist is severe injuries & fatalities from aerial lift accidents. Any serious injury (amputation, loss of eye or hospitalization) or death on the job requires the employer reaching out to OSHA – not the other way around. Think of this type of OSHA inspection trigger as a “reverse notification,” as it is the employer’s responsibility to get the ball rolling and set up 

Programmed inspections

Sometimes, the answer to the question “when does OSHA inspect” is more straightforward than you’d think. Regularly scheduled (“programmed”) inspections occur in heavily regulated industries like manufacturing, construction, shipping, and other workplaces that require the use of heavy machinery such as AWPs and MEWPs. In this instance, at least you can create your own OSHA inspection checklist to ensure you have all your bases covered.

In most cases, OSHA conducts inspections without advance notice. Employers have the right to require compliance officers to obtain an inspection warrant before entering the worksite. If OSHA contacts you about an inspection, you can say no. OSHA must then obtain a warrant to conduct the inspection.

OSHA will provide advance notice of an inspection for only a few reasons. These include:

– Urgent safety matters

– Accidents that involve fatalities

– Scheduling conflicts with managers

– When “special preparations” are needed

What an OSHA Inspection Consists Of

All OSHA inspections consist of a 3-tiered process. This occurs whether or not the inspection is scheduled in advance.

1. Initial meeting or conference call.

When the OSHA compliance officer shows up at your door, he or she will:

– Explain the purpose of the inspection

– Ask to meet with management and workers

– Check the log of work-related injuries and illnesses

– Conduct a walkaround of the work site

– This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.

2. The walkaround.

osha inspectionThe OSHA safety inspector examines all manner of your operations. This can include those you may not consider safety violations, including any conditions related to aerial lift safety violations. If there was an accident or other type of incident, the inspector will want to talk to affected workers. This may be in the form of private interviews with the safety manager, but can also include any employees. The inspector may also test for dust, fumes, or other hazard risks. You have the right to ask about these tests and to receive a summary of the samplings.

The walkaround phase of the OSHA safety inspection could also deal with employee training records. OSHA may ask to see worker human resource files, including training credentials. If you have untrained aerial lift operators, OSHA may levy a costly fine.

During the walkaround, OSHA can inspect the following areas related to aerial or scissor lifts:

– Mechanical operation

– Maintenance plans for scissor lifts, AWP, MEWPs, cherry pickers and more.

– Employee training records

Anything that is out of compliance in these areas can be deemed a violation.

3. Closing meeting.

Here, the OSHA inspector will discuss any violations and how to correct them. This may include deadlines for the fixes and any fines OSHA levies. It may also include future actions on the part of OSHA. During the inspection, it’s a good idea to keep detailed notes of what the inspector does and says.

How to Prepare for an OSHA Inspection

If you’re lucky enough to have OSHA announce an inspection, you will have time to prepare. If the inspection is a surprise, there are still things you can do to avoid costly mistakes.

Know your rights.

When an OSHA safety officer shows up at your door unannounced, you have the right to ask two things. One is to see the officer’s credentials. The other is the reason for the inspection.

OSHA can’t inspect your work site without good reason. They must have probable cause. This can result from a worker complaint or accident. It can also result from an OSHA program where they inspect companies that meet certain criteria.

OSHA must explain the reason for the inspection. If someone filed a complaint, you are entitled to a written copy of it. If the inspection is part of an OSHA program, the officer must provide information about it. If you think OSHA does not have probable cause, you can decline the inspection.

Plan your response.

When an OSHA safety officer shows up unannounced, the management team needs to make three big decisions:

– Should we allow the inspection

– If so, what should be the scope of the inspection

– Who should accompany the OSHA rep on the walkaround team

You can ask OSHA for a reasonable amount of time to plan your response. Once your team reaches a decision, let the inspector know whether or not you will allow the inspection. If not, OSHA will need to obtain a search warrant to proceed.

Determine the scope of the investigation. 

osha inspection consists of

Don’t make the mistake of letting the OSHA safety inspector roam your work site at will. You have the right to decide where the inspector can go and what he or she can observe. Access needs to be broad enough for the officer to evaluate the area of probable cause. But you can restrict access to certain areas. To determine probable cause, OSHA needs access to:

– The hazards stated in an employee complaint

 The accident site area

– Hazards that fall within the OSHA program criteria

Allowing a broader inspection could put you at risk for citations that aren’t part of the probable cause.

This may come as a surprise, but some employers ask OSHA to perform an inspection. This often occurs when a worker expresses a safety concern, and the company contacts OSHA as a means of resolving it. It’s also a good way to ensure they stay in compliance.

OSHA may not state the exact day and time of the visit. But for serious concerns, it’s usually within 30 days of contacting them. You may want to inform co-workers and union members of the filed complaint.  That way, they can gather their comments and questions for the inspector.

Training: The Best Preparation of All

There are more ways you can prepare for surprise OSHA inspections. These include:

– Have clear, written safety policies and procedures

– Maintain a clean, organized work site

– Remove hazards when possible

– Mark hazards that can’t be removed with warning signs

– Keep aerial lifts and other equipment well maintained

– Make sure all aerial lift operators are trained and certified

As you can see, these aren’t preparation tasks. They are things you should be doing every day. So if you get hit with a surprise inspection, your risk of being out of compliance will be low.

In other words, you can get the necessary training to safely operate your equipment from CMO. As you can see, these aren’t preparation tasks. They are things you should be doing every day. So if you get hit with a surprise inspection, your risk of being out of compliance will be low.

Now that you know what triggers an OSHA inspection, what inspections involve, what happens during inspections, and your unique rights as an employer, it’s clear that a comprehensive safety program is a requirement in today’s heavily regulated environment. CMO has all the training and certification you need to ensure positive, productive, professional communications with OSHA in the event of an audit or inspection.

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Be Prepared Before and During an OSHA Inspection – Get Trained with CMO Today!

Training your aerial lift operators to work safely and avoid accidents is crucial. You also need documentation to prove your compliance. With OSHA-compliant training from, you’ll have everything you need. Our OSHA-inspection compliant training provides everything you need to ensure compliance, awareness and enhance overall safety, from information & training to create your own company OSHA inspection checklist to complete training and certification for your entire aerial lift fleet.

Keep your workers and your business safe and compliant. Give our aerial lift experts a call today at (602) 277-0615, or check out the contact page. Be prepared TODAY for an OSHA inspectionregister your company with CMO! Thanks for considering CMO as your total safety and training solution for MEWPs, AWPs, scissor lifts and other elevated work platforms. Make sure your OSHA inspections are successful and sign up with CMO now! We look forward to hearing from you soon.

When to Use a Scissor Lift Harness

scissor lift harnessIf you require your workers to use a scissor lift, you should provide them with harnesses. A scissor lift harness can protect your lift operators against accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Plus, it can help you comply with OSHA scissor lift safety requirements. Let’s not forget about how harnesses can prevent serious falls from scissor lifts, either.

In order to get the most value out of scissor lift harnesses, you need to teach workers how to use them correctly. This ensures workers can wear harnesses on scissor lifts and avoid falls., the leader in training & certification for aerial lifts, scissor lifts, aerial work platforms (AWPs) and other mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), provides OSHA compliant Fall Protection Training as part of our complete line of aerial lift training courses

Register your company today and get your workers certified! It’s not only the law, but training & certification ensures your company is covered in case of an OSHA audit or investigation.

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OSHA Prioritizes Scissor Lift Fall Protection

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, OSHA reports. They’re also one of OSHA’s top 10 most serious safety violations.

OSHA usually requires construction companies to install a fall protection system, like a harness and lanyard, any time a fall of 6 feet or more is possible.

You’re responsible for providing scissor lift fall protection accessories, including safety harnesses, personal protective equipment and related accessories. When your employees know their safety is accounted for, the result is a happier, more productive workplace…a win-win for everyone involved!

The Scissor Lift Harness Debate: Here’s What You Need to Know

The debate about when to use a fall protection harness on a scissor lift is ongoing, and chances are, it isn’t going away any time soon. In this debate, scissor lift operators are often caught in the middle between safety and efficiency. One reason for the debate with scissor lift workers involves working height. Aerial lifts, boom lifts and other non-scissor lifts reach significantly higher than scissor lifts, so a safety harness is easier to justify. But remember, OSHA designates any working surface higher than 6 feet as a potential fall hazard.

Many scissor lift operators wonder if they need a harness on a scissor lift. Some say they need a harness to be safe. Others say a harness is unnecessary. So, which is it? To find out, let’s take a closer look at all aspects of the scissor lift harness debate.

What Is a Safety Harness, and Why Is It Important?

Scissor lift harnesses don’t prevent falls — their job is to stop a fall when it occurs. They’re also designed to limit the forces on the body when a fall is arrested. They do this by using a system of straps and buckles to distribute forces to parts of the body that can best absorb them.

Harnesses also help workers stay upright during a fall, which allows a deceleration device to properly deploy. The deceleration device keeps the spine vertical, so it can absorb the force of the fall. However, this cuts off circulation to parts of the body and can cause blood to pool in the legs.

Safety Harnesses: What Are OSHA Scissor Lift Requirements?

One of the most common questions we receive at CMO is: “Do I need a harness in a scissor lift?” OSHA does not require harnesses or lanyards for scissor lift workers. However, certain jurisdictions, companies and job sites require wearing a harness in scissor lift. This contradiction of sorts sits at the core of the scissor lift fall protection debate, which is summarized by two key points:

1. Employers and workers want to adhere to safety regulations. They also want to prevent accidents.

2. Having scissor lift workers wear a personal fall restraint system (PFRS) is cumbersome and inefficient. It can interfere with their work and may be unnecessary.

So, do you need to wear a harness on a scissor lift? The answer depends on local safety standards and jobsite requirements. To better understand scissor lift harness guidelines, let’s review OSHA’s fall protection standards for aerial work platforms (AWPs).

Pros and Cons of Wearing an OSHA Safety Harness

wearing harness in scissor liftScissor lift operators are subject to fall hazards, due to the fact that they perform tasks at heights. Thanks to an OSHA safety harness, these operators are well-equipped to avoid falls when they perform everyday tasks. Safety harnesses can help reduce the number of scissor lift operator falls, along with associated accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Wearing a harness in a scissor lift is one way your company can reduce the chance of falls and related accidents. 

Clearly, there are many reasons to wear a safety harness when operating a scissor lift. On the other hand, it is important to note that there may be some problems that can occur if scissor lift operators wear harnesses when they complete everyday tasks.

For instance, if a scissor lift operator is wearing a harness and goes over a lift’s guardrail, they could accidentally cause a tip-over; that is bad enough for the platform worker, but this type of accident also jeopardizes nearby workers, pedestrians and anyone else in the job site vicinity. 

Along with using the aforementioned argument, those who are against requiring scissor lift operators to wear safety harnesses may point out that scissor lift manufacturers frequently do not provide an anchor point that operators can use to connect a snap hook to a lanyard. They may also note that OSHA prohibits tying off a harness to a guardrail.

Ultimately, the pros of wearing an OSHA safety harness on a scissor lift far exceeds the cons associated with doing so. If scissor lift operators consistently wear a safety harness while they work at heights, they can effectively protect themselves against falls.

Harness and Fall Protection Standards for Aerial Lifts

OSHA provides general guidelines for AWP workers. It has also created detailed guidelines for the construction industry, and OSHA’s Fall Protection Construction Standards and Resources lay out a comprehensive set of rules for construction workers who use aerial lifts.

According to OSHA, scissor lifts aren’t considered aerial lifts because the work platform for a scissor lift doesn’t extend beyond the wheelbase. Instead, scissor lifts are considered scaffolding. This gives workers more flexibility than other aerial lift operators. Plus, most scissor lifts don’t extend as high as AWPs. This is one of the most important OSHA scissor lift harness requirements to keep in mind.

Scissor Lift Fall Protection Requirements

While OSHA does not require scissor lift workers to wear a harness or other PFRS, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. After all, there are many hazards associated with scissor lift use. That’s one reason OSHA requires scissor lifts to have guardrail systems, and also why it’s an important part of fall protection for every type of scaffolding, scissor lift or aerial lift.

A guardrail is one of the most important types of scissor lift fall protection. Why aren’t scissor lift workers required by law to wear a scissor lift harness? The answer: existing safety rules.

According to OSHA guidelines, all scissor lift operators should:

Ensure a guardrail system is in place and stable before working. If you’re not sure your guardrails are safe, notify your supervisor immediately.

Position the scissor lift so it won’t move away from the work platform.

Stand on the work platform — not the guardrails — at all times. Use caution when approaching the guardrails, and make sure you never lean over the guardrails to perform work; always move the base of the scissor lift to accommodate a different configuration.

Keep a firm stance with both feet on the platform floor.

OSHA has established the aforementioned guidelines for scissor lift operators, but some job sites might require the use of a PFRS or scissor lift harness. If you are required to wear a harness for any type of scissor lift operation, abide by the local laws and regulations. OSHA doesn’t make “blanket” guidelines for scissor lift workers. But failing to adhere to onsite safety rules can still result in penalties and fines.

Do I Need a Harness in a Scissor Lift?

While OSHA doesn’t require the use of a safety harness on a scissor lift (scaffolding), certain scenarios may require the use of one. Scissor lift fall protection with harnesses may be necessary, depending on external factors. There are many reasons why scissor lift workers need to wear a harness and attached lanyard, such as:

No guardrail system is in place.

The guardrail is insufficient.

 The worker has left the work platform.

If there’s an adequate guardrail system in place, scissor lift workers don’t need a harness. However, if the guardrail system is insufficient, additional fall protection is needed.

For those who have access to a guardrail system and wear a harness, that’s great, since it’s always better to go the extra mile with your scissor lift fall protection measures. In this instance, the scissor lift fall protection harness provides that extra measure of protection to avoid falls. 

How to Wear a Scissor Lift Safety Harness

Workers must receive proper training to ensure they can wear a scissor lift safety harness correctly. The training teaches workers how to take a harness on and off. It also explains why it is paramount to wear a harness any time they use a scissor lift. CMO’s Fall Protection Training offers a comprehensive overview and OSHA compliant instruction regarding scissor lift harnesses

Meanwhile, if a scissor lift comes with attachment points, contact the manufacturer for information about when and how to use the tie-off points. You’ll learn about this and much more if you enroll in our OSHA scissor lift harness requirements training program!

san diego aerial lift certification

Sign Up for Fall Protection Certification Training Today! offers OSHA-compliant scissor lift, aerial lift, and AWP safety training, including fall protection classes. With our classes, you can become an expert in elevated work platform (EWP) harness requirements and scissor lift fall protection. To learn more or to sign up for one of our safety training classes, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

World’s Tallest Boom Lift Launched by JLG

Imagine being on the 19th story of an office building, looking out the window to the street below. Long ways down, isn’t it? Now imagine yourself on the other side of the window on a 3 ft. x 5 ft. platform, repairing the outside of the building. Now it’s really a long way down! Welcome to the world of the boom lift worker.

People have been working at height since they began building tall structures. In the old days, they did it with ladders and scaffolding. These days, companies have a wide variety of aerial lifts to choose from. These remarkable tools improve safety and productivity on the job. One of the most popular types is the boom lift.

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What Is a Boom Lift?

A boom lift is used to lift workers high into the air to perform jobs that used to require scaffolding or extendable ladders. The main advantage of boom lifts is they can move vertically and horizontally. This allows workers to reach a much wider area when on the lift.

There are two basic types of boom lifts. One is called a telescopic boom lift because it has straight arms. The other is called an articulating boom lift because its arms can bend.  Both types make it easier to access hard-to-reach areas, and they offer more flexibility than scissor lifts, which can only go straight up and down.

But the big advantage aerial lifts and mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) have over scissor lifts is their impressive working height. While scissor lifts rarely extend beyond 15-20 feet, boom lifts can easily reach upwards of 100 feet or more. How much more? Well, thanks to pioneering aerial lift manufacturer JLG, how about nearly 200 feet?

What Is the World’s Largest Boom Lift

In the early days of aerial lifts, boom lifts didn’t go very high. For a long time, 50 or 60 ft. was about as high as they could go. Then the materials, technology, and production methods got better. So did safety equipment and practices. Soon, boom lifts were exceeding heights of 100 ft.

These days, the largest boom lifts can reach close to 200 ft. – almost as tall as a 20-story building. This has extended their use and led to increased demand for tall boom lifts.

The Biggest Boom Lift: the JLG 1850SJ

The biggest boom lift is the JLG 1850SJ Ultra Series Telescopic Boom.  Made by JLG, a global producer of aerial lifts, the 1850SJ is a sight to behold. At full height, it can extend to 185 ft. (Technically, the tallest boom lift can reach 185 feet and 7 inches, with a staggering 80 feet of horizontal outreach.  That’s enough to reach the 19th story of a building. As the biggest JLG lift, the 1850SJ also has a horizontal outreach of 80 ft. All told, the lift has nearly 3 million cu. ft. of reachable space.

What Does the World’s Largest Boom Lift Offer (Besides an Unbeatable Bird’s-Eye View)?

World’s Largest Self-Propelled Boom Lift Launched by JLG

The 1850SJ has more to offer than just being the largest boom lift. With a max load of 1,000 lbs., the boom lift can hold more people, tools, and cargo than other lifts. The 1850SJ also has faster cycle speeds than other boom lifts. As a result, the boom can extend from the ground to full height in less than five minutes. That is slow enough to transport workers safely, but fast enough to save time on the job.

Other features include a telescopic jib that extends and retracts, and an state-of-the-art LCD platform display. If extra reach is required, the 1850SJ’s functional jib provides extra height, thanks to advanced up-and-over capability, plus the maneuverability to move in and around hazards and existing structures. This function comes in handy for industrial applications and construction. The variety of worksites and jobs that benefit from the JLG telescopic jib include power plants, spectator stadium construction, maintenance, and even special surveillance situations. The JLG 1850SJ isn’t just the tallest boom lift – it’s the MEWP for all seasons!

Additional ability to traverse jobsite terrain comes courtesy of 4-wheel drive and 4-wheel steering. Plus, much-needed extra stability and foundational integrity are possible with retractable and extendable axles. A standard weight permit is the only requirement for transport to and from your jobsite – just make sure you check with your local jurisdiction or jobsite requirements to ensure proper paperwork and clearances are in place for the tallest man lift.

The display shows the operator’s position in the work envelope. This aids in positioning the lift. It also displays engine status, fuel levels, service codes, and other messages to assist with operations and troubleshooting.

Let’s not forget about the 1850SJ’s turbo diesel engine, either. With nearly 100 provided HP, the biggest boom lift has all the power for practically any jobsite scenario. Like other JLG man lifts, the 1850SJ impresses with an efficient engine and intuitive operating system. Consider the tallest boom lift a fine-tuned piece of machinery as well.

Put it all together – the height, large work envelope, telescopic jib, and advanced features – and you get unprecedented access to jobsites nearly 200 ft. in the air. You also get a powerful tool for improving productivity on the jobsite.

For more information on the world’s tallest boom lift, check out the official JLG product specs and description for the 1850SJ. 

How Does the 1850SJ Stack Up Against Other JLG Boom Lifts?

JLG features a well-rounded fleet of MEWPs and man lifts for a wide range of applications, in addition to the world’s tallest boom lift. For example, JLG offers plenty of engine-powered boom lifts, including several articulating and telescopic options.

JLG’s articulating boom lifts are capable of reaching platform heights up to 150 ft. They are designed for easy positioning and include a versatile jib that enables aerial lift operators to seamlessly move up and over obstacles while still safely operating the machinery.

Comparatively, JLG’s telescopic boom lifts have a straight boom to maximize horizontal reach. They come in platform heights that range from 40 ft. to 185 ft. and offer platform capacities up to 1,000 lbs.

When deciding between the 1850SJ and other JLG boom lift options, it helps to consider how you will use the lift. In doing so, you can determine which JLG boom lift can help you achieve your desired results – safely and efficiently.

Regardless of what your company needs – the biggest boom lift in the 1850SJ or a standard-sized MEWP, you’ll need to ensure your workers are thoroughly trained and certified to operate this specialized machinery.

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Want Online Safety Training for a JLG Boom Lift? Can Help

As you can see, aerial lifts can get HUGE. If your job requires you to use large lifts, is the only online training course you need. CMO offers a broad range of aerial lift, scissor lift and fall protection classes, along with other safety training. Our goal is to ensure OSHA compliance whether you’re on a small scissor lift or the biggest JLG lift.

One of the best parts about CMO training is it takes place on your schedule. Workers can complete our training courses from any location, at any time, and all they need is an internet connection. It only takes about an hour to complete our training, and workers can print their certification card as soon as they complete it. We have a course for any OSHA certification requirement. Check out our course catalog for pricing that fits any budget, including yours! CMO has assisted hundreds of companies with their MEWP and aerial lift training, including equipment from JLG and other popular manufacturers. We’re ready to help you as well!

Please call (602) 277-0615 or visit our contact page for more information about our aerial lift safety training program. From the tallest man lift in the world to the lowest scissor lift, CMO is your #1 option for OSHA approved training and certification. Get started today and ensure you have the safest possible workplace. Thanks for visiting CMO!