According to statistics that were released by Safe Work Australia, falls from high heights are a significant contributor to workplace fatalities. If you have ever worked at high points before, then you know that these figures are worrying. However, you can improve safety by following laid down guidelines for working at height. Part of this involves inspecting boom lifts accordingly. While you might have an idea of what to check, there are a couple of things that most workers tend to ignore. Therefore, merely examining the tire pressure, hydraulic hoses, the engine, the dashboard display and the boom platform will not guarantee your safety. This article highlights some of the commonly ignored boom lift inspection aspects when working at height.
Find a Quiet Place: Heavy construction equipment and human chatter make the construction work site a noisy environment. If you do not factor this when inspecting the boom lifts, then you are putting yourself and fellow workers at risk. The reason is that part of the boom lift inspection exercise entails listening to sounds coming from the boom's engine. For instance, if you are inspecting the boom lift near a cement mixer, you are unlikely to hear potential strange noises coming from the engine. As such, you will fail to identify possible issues with the boom lift's motor. Therefore, you should find a quiet space to conduct a thorough inspection of the boom lift because you can tell if the engine's roar is strange.
Verify Parts Modifications: Although a boom lift inspection exercise might turn out okay, you might fail to notice subtle changes that are made on the equipment by employees, for instance, the configuration of platform gears. If a boom lift is "operating optimally", workers might forget to report boom lift modifications to a maintenance supervisor. However, it is dangerous, especially if the changes were not authorised by appropriate personnel or executed in line with manufacturer specifications. Therefore, if you notice a new hydraulic hose or foot switch during a boom lift inspection exercise, take note and verify the changes with a maintenance supervisor.
Confirm the Condition of the Elevated Workstation: Although fall arrest systems can be dethatched from a boom lift, inspection of fall arrests is an integral part of height equipment safety. The reason is that during operation, fall arrests are attached to the boom platform. However, while an arrest system might be in good condition, you should ask yourself whether the system matches a specific job. For example, some lanyards are produced from materials that can be severed by sharp and abrasive edges. Therefore, it is essential to treat boom lift inspection and workstation inspection as a single process. Most importantly, you should ensure that the right fall arrest system is attached to the boom lift.