Many people suffer from an extreme fear of heights to the point where they freeze up or are unable to function when they are suspended high up in the air. This fear can be dangerous for construction workers, especially anyone working on an aerial lift. A person who is afraid of being high up off the ground may have difficulty functioning normally, which can actually put them at a higher risk of falling.
Acrophobia is the official term for fear of heights. For aerial lift operators, learning the best way to get over fear of heights can be a major hurdle to performing your job correctly.
Some aerial lifts can soar into the sky for hundreds of feet! Yikes!
Before you take steps to conquer your fear of heights, it’s helpful to know you’re not the only one. In fact, it’s estimated that over 25 million Americans have some type of phobia.
Do You Have a Fear of Heights?
Fear of falling is common, due to the fact that a fall can cause serious physical harm. Yet, if a fear of heights can become too much to handle for a number of reasons, such as:
You start to feel nervous any time you think about think about flying, working, or doing any work or enjoying any activities at heights
You are dealing with a medical issue that impacts your body’s ability to properly balance itself; in this instance, you should consult with a doctor to discuss the problem
You frequently dwell on the pain from a past fall and/or injury
People who deal with a fear of heights may experience vertigo, along with shaking, sweating, headaches, and other physical symptoms. Fortunately, people who may be dealing with a fear of heights can pursue a wide range of treatment options, including cognitive behavioral therapy and medication.
What Causes a Fear of Heights?
The main reason for this fear is as an amplified reaction to what is considered to be a natural fear of getting hurt when falling from a high place. While almost everyone has a natural fear of heights and the risks involved, the fear is exaggerated for those who have a distinct fear of heights.
A past fall that led to an injury can also cause the person to fear being in a similar situation again. If the injury was serious, the person may have a reason to fear such an issue again, causing them to panic whenever they are up high off the ground. The person may have seen someone else fall and be seriously injured or even killed, which would then cause them to develop a concern for the same situation happening to them.
Poor balance may lead to a fear of falling, which can cause a person to be afraid of being up high in the air. If they suffer from a dysfunction of the equilibrium, which provides balance, they may have a higher risk for falling, which will lead them to be afraid of such a situation.
Genetics and the environment can also influence a person’s fear of heights. If another family member was afraid of heights, it increases the likelihood that you will be, too. How caregivers respond to heights when you are a child can lead you to have the fear. For example, if your mother or father were always telling you to get down or you might fall with panic in their voice, you might associate heights with severe danger.
Jobs That Require Employees to Work at Heights
If you become an aerial lift operator, you will need to perform work at heights. But, other professionals are also required to work at heights, such as:
– Construction workers
A fear of heights won’t disqualify you from earning a job that requires you to work on equipment high off the ground, but it can make it exceedingly difficult to perform everyday tasks safely and effectively. Thus, if you are dealing with a fear of heights, you may want to seek treatment to help you manage your fear. Over time, you may discover safe, effective ways to help you cope. At that point, you may even be ready to pursue work as an aerial lift operator.
Why Should You Become an Aerial Lift Operator?
You may be thinking, if I have a fear of heights, why would I want a career as an aerial lift operator? We think you should definitely consider becoming an aerial lift operator (if you’re not already one) because 1) it’s completely possible to learn how to get over your fear of heights, and 2) there are great benefits in an aerial lift operator career.
Aerial lifts are versatile machines used all over the country, in a wide range of industries. Whether you live in a rural area or a bustling metropolis, you have most likely seen an aerial lift working at least a dozen times in your life. They are used for commercial and residential services, including tree trimming, electrical work, structural maintenance, construction, aircraft maintenance, window washing, and even special events set-up. From coast to coast, aerial lifts are vital parts of nearly every community, and that’s why a career as an aerial lift operator is such a great career. Because they are used in so many capacities on a daily basis, aerial lifts will never become obsolete and operators will always be in demand. As a trained operator, you can enjoy a recession-proof career that will always have work available, work opportunities wherever you live, and a wide range of jobs to keep you interested and stimulated.
But to become an aerial lift operator, you have to be willing to be lifted up into the air to access the work area, while standing on a firm platform. Ready to learn the best way to get over fear of heights? Keep reading.
Understand the Fear of Heights
If you have a fear of heights, you may wonder if it is possible to get over the problem. First, it is important to realize that most people feel some discomfort when they are high up in the air. This is a normal feeling, which shouldn’t cause you to worry. However, for those who suffer from an intense fear of heights, which prevents them from performing normal activities, they will be happy to know it is possible to overcome this fear.
Several treatment options exist for the fear of heights. Everyone won’t respond the same way to each treatment, so you may have to try more than one to find success. The fear may not be completely cured, but it can lessen enough to allow you to work in a job where heights are required, such as an aerial lift operator.
Fear of heights can get worse with age. Often, children and young adults have no fear and feel they are invincible. As a person gets older, they may become more concerned about their health. They can also have more balance issues, which can lead to worries about falling from heights.
It can be helpful to understand why you have this fear to help you learn how to deal with heights. For some, they have fallen from a height, which causes them to worry about it happening again. You may have watched someone else fall and get hurt. The fear of heights can be hereditary with someone in the family suffering from agoraphobia.
Health conditions which cause dizziness, light-headedness, or vertigo can leave you feeling afraid of high places. You may worry about your symptoms getting worse or being unable to get down. Once you know the cause of your fear, you can have a better idea of how to treat it.
How to Get Over a Fear of Heights
For anyone who has a fear of heights, learning the right coping mechanisms that work are the crucial building blocks to getting over your fears and realizing they don’t own you.
To get started learning the best way to get over fear of heights, practice these tips:
✓ Realize that your fears are valid
Nearly everyone has some form of a fear of heights. Researchers have realized that this fear is an evolutionary trait, keeping us from standing on that steep ledge that can cause us harm. Face the fact that your fears aren’t silly, and then find ways to reduce these fears.
✓ Tackle it head-on, slowly
If you are afraid of heights, start doing more activity where you’re up in the air. But don’t start by sky-diving. Take small steps. Go to the top of a 5-story building, then a 10-story building. If possible, see if your supervisor can assign you to lower heights as you work through your fear.
✓ Take a buddy along
Sometimes, the fear of heights is made worse by being alone. If your job needs two or three workers for an aerial lift project, try going with a crew. Just talking and being around other co-workers should help.
✓ Visualize success
With your eyes closed, visualize the specific security concerns that you will face in the situation you’re about to enter. Imagine the sturdiness of the barrier or aerial lift platform guard rail; feel the hug of the body harness; visualize sliding your hand along the guardrail and feeling your safety and security.
✓ Try hypnosis
Hypnosis takes self-visualization one step further, and it’s actually helped a lot of people get past their fear of heights. It might not work for you, but it’s worth a shot, especially if everything else was useless.
Aerial Lift Operators: Tips for Getting Over a Fear of Heights
The key to learning the best way to get over fear of heights and work with aerial lifts is the right training program.
For aerial lift operators, not knowing how to overcome a fear of heights can make completing necessary tasks very difficult. But being less productive isn’t the only negative that comes with having a fear of heights. If you struggle with this fear and are an aerial lift worker, you may also suffer from the fear of being in trouble with your boss or being let go as a result of your fear of heights. The stress over not wanting to lose your job can cause employees to either be reckless and rush to finish tasks in the effort to get them done, or not fully complete a task to finish it faster and get down to lower ground. A fear of heights can put yourself and other workers’ lives at risk if you are unable to complete a task fully, if you rush a task, or use methods covered outside of training.
In the case of a fear of heights and all types of phobias, learning more about the fear and the ways you can prevent any mishaps can help you in getting over your fear of heights. When you know more about something, you take away the power it has over you because the mystery and confusion are dissipated.
Completing an aerial lift certification program teaches you everything you need to operate an aerial lift properly, including how to recognize and avoid hazards, operate the controls, and assess the environment. As such, this program can help you learn how to get over your fear of heights. Because, when you understand all of the proper working processes and how to avoid hazards to protect your life, you will feel much safer working on an aerial lift, knowing you are equipped with the knowledge you need.
Why You Need Comprehensive Aerial Lift Training and Certification
Aerial lift certification involves both step-by-step learning and written testing, and an in-person practical assessment. This structure ensures that students learn the analytical components of operating an aerial lift, with the hands-on practice they need to be most prepared. If you would like to become an aerial lift operator and gain a recession-proof career with financial security, then the first step is getting over your fear of heights.
The online portion of the training is not timed and is taken at your own pace so that you can feel comfortable and fully prepared to move onto the practical assessment. The practical test is led by a knowledgeable and patient instructor that will help you operate aerial lifts the right way, and the safe way. Knowing that your safety is everyone’s top concern can help you learn how to get over your fear of heights.
Having something broken down into manageable steps is often the best way to learn and can reduce some of the nervousness around training. Our aerial lift certification program covers the following:
– Aerial lift and scissor lift training
– Class 7 forklift training, which includes rough terrain forklifts, straight mast forklifts, and extended reach forklifts
– Fall protection training to help you understand exactly how to prevent falls from happening in the first place
Did “fall protection” training catch your eye? As someone who is struggling with getting over a fear of heights, receiving comprehensive fall protection training with your equipment operation certification feels like a weight lifted off your shoulders and a long, deep breath. You will learn how to get over your fear of heights and feel confident in your career as an aerial lift operator.
Want to Learn How to Beat Your Fear of Heights? Check Out CertifyMeOnline.net for Aerial Lift Certification
If you need to obtain an aerial lift certification to stay compliant with OSHA and your employer, and you also want to be able to protect your safety and learn how to get over your fear of heights, our aerial lift training program is right for you.
Similar to heights, many workers are afraid of testing. CMO takes the fear out of compliance.
Our online courses can be taken anytime, anywhere. They’ve been used by many companies and are very affordable, too! For any questions about setting up aerial lift training courses, please call us at (602) 277-0615. Plus, you can send a message or request a quote on our contact page.
If you have acrophobia, we wish you the best of luck. Thank you for visiting our website. We look forward to working with you – in the air, online, and everywhere in between!