Aerial Specialists, Inc

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Aerial Specialists, Inc.

Over 1,000,000 exact OEM Aerial Lift Parts both Vendored and Structural

(AWPT) Aerial Work Platform Training Guidance & Operational Safety Recommendations


The use of aerial work platforms involves potential hazards that can result in fatal injury or major property damage. Reducing risks through personnel training, safe design, inspection, testing, maintenance, and repair of aerial work platforms is an important part of using this type of equipment safely.

Only properly trained and qualified operators may operate aerial platforms.

Serious Operating Hazards are:

  • Structural failure or overturning caused by overloading or operating on too great of an incline.
  • Instability caused by improper operation, such as driving over obstructions and / or pot-holes.
  • Collision with objects or pedestrians and contact with overhead electrical lines

Serious Unit Hazards are:

  • Poor unit maintenance.
  • Using equipment for a purpose for which it was not intended or designed.

Guidance in the use of aerial work platforms as it applies to their operation, inspection, and maintenance by anyone who rents, owns or leases is critical. It also applies to anyone who takes aerial work platforms off site to conduct business elsewhere.

Note:  More specific and concise guidance is provided in official ANSI-SIA
                    A92.5 and A92.6 Aerial Work Guidelines literature

Hazard Avoidance

General Employee Safety:                              

  • Do NOT drive in a hole or depression!
  • Do NOT go beneath the boom or reach inside extended scissors arms of any aerial work platform in use!
  • Do NOT enter a work area around an aerial work platform, which has been cordoned off (usually with tape, rope, sawhorses, or cones etc…).
  • DANGER:  maintain specified distance from electrical lines and apparatus.
  • NEVER approach power lines with any part of your machine!
  • Use “EXTREME CAUTION when venturing near an “in use” platform.
  • Employees must NEVER GO BENEATH the boom of an aerial work platform when working on an aerial work platform
  • As recommended by ANSI, wear a full body harness with a lanyard attached to the basket. Never tie off to adjacent poles, structures, or other pieces of equipment.
  • Always stand firmly on the floor of the basket.  Do NOT “lean over” or “sit” or “climb” on the platform railings.
  • Do NOT exceed boom rated basket load limits specified by the manufacturer.
  • When outriggers are used, position them on pads and on a solid surface.
  • Wheel chocks MUST be installed before using an aerial lift on an APPROVED incline as stated in manufactures operations manual provided with the unit and located on the platform and/or basket.
  • WARNING: NEVER fill the fuel tank with the engine running, while smoking or when near an open flame!
  • Only trained and authorized persons shall operate aerial work platforms.

Read understand and follow the Danger, Warning, Caution and other signs on your machine decal placards.

Read and understand the manufacturers “Operator Handbook” BEFORE using the machine. 

  • If there is no “OPERATORS HANDBOOK”  with the machineGET ONE!
  • Articulating boom, extendable boom platforms and scissors lifts MUST have operable platform (upper) and lower controls.
  • Upper controls MUST be in or beside the platform within easy reach of the operator. Lower controls must provide for overriding the upper controls.
  • In the event of an emergency, the Lower controls are used to override the upper controls.
  • BOTH the UPPER and LOWER control panels MUST be plainly marked as to ALL functions.
  • Except in a case of an emergency, lower-leveI controls must NEVER be operated, unless permission has been obtained from the employee on the lift.
  • The insulated portion of an aerial lift must NEVER be altered in any manner that might reduce its insulating value.
  • Before moving an aerial lift for travel, inspect the boom(s) and/or scissors stack to ensure that it is properly lowered and cradled and that ALL outriggers are in a stowed position, except as provided by separate instructions from the units operations manual.


Each aerial work platform should have a single person identified as the person responsible for ensuring its safe use: its "owner".

When such equipment has a clearly restricted specific use, a “supervisor” should be the responsible party.

Supervisors and user / owners responsibilities:

  • Ensure the operator is appropriately qualified, trained, and supervised regarding the use of aerial work platforms.
  • Only authorized employees may operate aerial work platforms.
  • When not in use, lock aerial work platform controls, or otherwise disable the unit to prevent unauthorized use.
  • Notify a Safety Representative of any equipment deficiencies.
  • Notify a building or site manager prior to bringing any aerial work platform equipment into a building or facility.
  • Make sure that all aerial work platform equipment is regularly inspected and properly maintained.
  • Repairs MUST be made by a trained and certified aerial lift technician. 
  • Unit inspections MUST be done in accordance to all OHSA, ANSI & SIA requirements. These are to be done daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Inspection and maintenance repair records are mandated by-law and MUST be kept on file for ALL aerial access equipment.  Original OEM manuals and ANSI/SIA guidelines also dictate these procedures.

Business Service Manager:

  • Ensure that purchase orders issued for repairs of aerial work platform equipment receive the approval of a Safety Representative prior to processing any order.
  • Trained and Certified technicians MUST do any and all repairs and / or maintenance to aerial lifts to OSHA required standards.
  • A technician MUST be able to provide and present required Credentials of being a trained aerial-access technician and provide the required service and parts manuals to validate original OE procedures and/or facilitate needed repairs.
  • These credentials MUST be presented prior to any repairs so that the technician’s qualifications can be verified.  

Supervisors' Training Responsibilities:

  • Supervisors are responsible for determining employees' aerial work platform operator training needs and verifying that operating aerial work platforms is part of their normal scope of employment.
  • A supervisor is responsible for securing needed training.
  • The supervisor should make training requests for the standardized aerial work platform operator class.  A trained and certified training instructor within the aerial access industry, who is knowledgeable about the operations and requirements of units being discussed, should provide safety operator training classes.  Credentials of a training instructor must be presented prior to any class so that an instructor’s qualifications can be verified.
  • The instructor shall provide standardized training and insightful information for personnel to receive qualification to operate any and all on-site aerial work platforms.
  • The supervisor then, shall provide oversight for the safe operation of any on-site aerial work platforms.
  • The instructor must concur with trainee’s supervisor so that the instructor provides the necessary information to trainees for the proper authorization to use their specific aerial work platforms.
  • Maintain a list of aerial work platform operators.
  • Verify equipment tests.
  • Inspect subcontractor-provided equipment operating on-site to ensure it meets minimum safety standards.
  • Provide requested assistance to building managers or supervisors regarding the inspection, operation, and maintenance of aerial work platforms, and assist in administering maintenance and repair contracts as needed.
  • Coordinate equipment safety inspections with the division heads or designee.
  • In coordination with Human Resources & Services, conduct periodic aerial work platform operator classes with on-site personnel and special work platform safety orientation classes for any on-site subcontractors.
  • Maintain operator certification and authorization records.

Training and Development:

  • Instructors MUST be able to provide and present required Credentials of being a trained aerial-access safety-training instructor. They should be able to provide the required factory OSHA information and operator manuals to validate original OSHA procedures and/or facilitate fielding instructional question regarding unit specifics.
  • These credentials MUST be presented prior to any instructions so that determination of instructor’s qualifications can be verified.
  • The instructor should schedule classes and provides classroom support, maintain automated records of personnel training actions and provide supervisor with a copy of the class registration form reflecting the supervisor's request for training.
  • If required, a medical staff member should provide medical evaluation and monitoring of employees who operate aerial-access equipment.

Building Managers or User / Owners:

  • Because proper maintenance is vitally important to safe use of aerial work platforms, the owners bear principal responsibility for maintaining aerial work platform equipment while it is in use within a facility.
  • The facility manager should work with a supervisor to ensure regular inspection and schedule maintenance repairs of all equipment when it is inside a facility.
  • Building managers and supervisors are responsible for safety inspections and in administering maintenance and repair contracts.


An operator should have a valid state motor vehicle driver's license (any class, from any state). Loss or suspension of a state license should mean loss or suspension of aerial work platform authorization.

All operators must satisfactorily complete the Aerial Work Platform Operator class BEFORE being authorized to operate any aerial work platform. Aerial work platform operators should attend a refresher course at least once every two years to maintain valid certification.

  • Operator training MUST include training and testing on operating practices and procedures and instruction on the purpose and function of each control as described in the OE operator handbook which must accompany the aerial lift.
  • Operators must have sufficient knowledge of operating practices and procedures to detect incorrect or unsafe situations. Operators must correct any unsafe condition or procedure before continuing work.
  • Operators must be thoroughly familiar with the equipment.
  • Successful completion of the basic aerial work platform operator class provides generic qualifications for aerial work platforms. In addition to training, specific permission to use the equipment must be obtained from the supervisor/owner.

Subcontractor training:

  • Short-term subcontractor personnel must attend an aerial work platform safety orientation when aerial equipment is provided.
  • Subcontractors operating aerial work platforms must attend regular aerial work platform classes.
  • When a subcontractor provides his or her own equipment, he or she is responsible for ensuring their employees are qualified to use the equipment on-site. Subcontract specifications may include additional requirements.

Before attending aerial work platform training:

  • Personnel shall have: safety shoes and hard hats specified by current ODH and radiation qualification unless work will clearly be restricted.
  • Safety glasses and full body safety harnesses are also required.

Medical / Physical:

  • Operators must not be subject to acrophobia (un-reasonable fear of heights).
  • Personnel under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not permitted on site.
  • Persons whose performance may be influenced by medications, or who are subject to seizures, dizziness, or loss of physical control MUST not be permitted to operate aerial work platforms.

Program Summary

Only trained, qualified personnel may be authorized to operate aerial work platforms. This authorization requires the concurrence of the individual's supervisor and the completion of a Certified Aerial-Access Training Program.

Purchase requisitions involving aerial work platforms:

  • Concurrence must be obtained from an aerial-access safety representative on requisitions for purchase, rentals, or repairs of aerial work platforms.
  • Documentation for rental or subcontractor-provided aerial work platforms must meet the following certification requirements:
  • "Subcontractor will ensure that his or her equipment meets the requirements of OSHA and ANSI safety standards prior to operation on site. Subcontractor shall have in their possession and provide a copy of recent inspection and / or testing documentation if requested."
  • Subcontracts for short-term subcontractors who operate aerial work platforms must specify the following:
  • "Subcontractors operating aerial work platforms will provide proof that their operators meet the qualifications of OSHA and ANSI. Subcontractor aerial work platform operators must attend an aerial work platform safety orientation (approximately 4 hours) prior to being authorized to operate any aerial work platforms. Subcontractors shall provide proof of liability insurance in the forms and amounts specified in their subcontracts."

Aerial work platform use authorization:

  • Qualified operators receive authorization to use an aerial work platform from their supervisor. Maintain a list of authorized aerial work platform operators. The list identifies those operators authorized to operate aerial work platform in the specific locations.
  • Operating aerial work platforms inside structures requires extra caution because of equipment exhaust fumes, restricted work areas, narrow passageways, and the potential of injury to workers and substantial damage to expensive equipment. Aerial work platform operators must use extreme caution when operating equipment.


Aerial Specialists, Inc - USA
1760 State Street • P.O. Box 085114 • Racine, WI 53408
(262) 632-0123 • Fax (262) 632-2458