Aerial Work Platforms (AWPs) can be divided into several categories, but the most commonly used in construction and general industry are boom lifts and scissor lifts. Even though they are often lumped into the same category (AWP), they are entirely different pieces of machinery, governed by different OSHA standards.
OSHA requires that all operators of the various types of AWPs undergo very specific training before setting foot on the platform. The training needs to cover all areas of safe operation, such as pre-use inspection, lift stability, fall protection, and emergency descent, among others.
All too often, training consists merely of the viewing of a short video, a brief discussion about operating the controls, a skills test, and the issuing of a certification card, all in the period of a couple of hours. Many times the short training time is the result of pressure from the employer to get his people out of training and back to work in as little time as possible. But the truth is that 2 hours is not enough time to properly cover all the required topics, and operators are expected to operate machinery without the training necessary for safe operation.
The fact is, it usually requires about 6 hours of training to properly cover the necessary material for safe operation of aerial work platforms. Many employers are reluctant to tie up their employees for an entire day of training, but the benefits of allowing sufficient time greatly outweigh the risk of an accident.
If an employee is involved in an accident resulting in serious injury or death, an OSHA investigation might be the result, and it is almost certain that there will be an audit of the training conducted. If OSHA discovers that the training did not cover the necessary topics, the employer will be on the hook for any safety violations, even if the official determination is operator error.
An accident can cost the company a good employee, damage to equipment, a hefty fine, and a bad mark on its safety record. Proper training can prevent accidents, thus saving employees from injury or death, and saving the company money from lost productivity and fines, and maintaining a good safety record.
Snow White Services provides qualified aerial work platform training so that your employees can safely operate boom and scissor lifts. Contact us for a personalized quote to cover your training needs.