Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Aerial Lift Training

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Operator Certification and Training

The operator must complete the following prior to being authorized to operate an aerial lift at VT. Note: the supervisor, operator, and EHS trainer will be required to sign off on the Certification Form that these areas have been addressed prior to observing and finalizing operator training and certification.

  • The operator must review and understand pertinent information in the Operator's Manual as specified by the manufacturer prior to attempting to operate the lift.
    • Proper set up (e.g. leveling and outriggers)
    • Safe and proper use
    • Pre-use inspection
    • Limitations of the equipment (e.g. maximum capacity)
  • Operators must receive training on the make and model of aerial lift to be used from their supervisor or designee, including how to properly set up, inspect, and operate the aerial lift under supervision.
    • Emergency controls in the event of mechanical failure or operator incapacitation
    • Reporting deficiencies if the lift does not pass inspection
    • Required fall protection systems associated with the type of lift
    • Supervised operation to develop proficiency
  • Operators must attend general aerial lift training from EHS, and be observed properly and safely operating the aerial lift before an operator's card is issued.
    • General requirements applicable to aerial lifts
    • Hazard recognition: electrical, fall, and falling objects
    • Safe work practices
    • Unsafe conditions: excessive wind or adverse weather, unstable ground conditions, vehicular traffic, etc.

Operators will only be certified to operate the type of aerial lift specified on their card. Operator certification is valid for 3 years.

    • Telescoping: ex. genie lifts - the personnel basket of platform only moves upward and downward. There are no hinged sections in the boom. This type is generally used indoors.
      • Note: A specific type of telescoping lifts are scissor lifts. OSHA standards require that these types of lifts be treated as mobile work platforms (i.e. mobile scaffolds). Additional OSHA regulations applicable to scissor lifts includes 29 CFR 1926.452(w).
    • Articulating: ex. construction-type lifts - The personnel basket or platform can be maneuvered up, down, over, and sideways. Thre are one or more hinged boom sections. This type is generally used outdoors.
      • Note: A specific type of articulating lifts are boom trucks (i.e. the personnel basket or platform is located on a commercial vehicle). This type is typically used on campus for painting or overhead power line access. The boom may or may not be insulated.
      • Where personal fall arrest systems are required to be used (i.e. articulating aerial lifts and boom trucks) in conjunction with the lift, training will involve the proper donning, fit, and use of the full body harness, as well as the use of the approved anchor point on the lift.

Additional/refresher training by the supervisor and/or EHS may be required under the following conditions:

  • The operator is observed operating the aerial lift unsafely.
  • The operator is involved in an accident or near miss involving an aerial lift.
  • The operator evaluation indicates a need for additional training and/or practice.
  • A different type of lift is to be used.