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Aerial Lift Training: Tips, Training, and Current Issues

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

An aerial work platform is, as ANSI defines it, a mobile or manually propelled device that has an adjustable position platform, supported from ground level by a structure.


Aerial lift training, AWP training, ANSI

ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute, who facilitates the development ofAmerican National Standards (ANS) by accrediting the procedures of standards developing organizations (SDOs). These groups work cooperatively to develop voluntary national consensus standards.

Their mission, according to their website, is “to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.”

Aerial Work Platforms (AWPs)

Aerial Training, aerial lift training, AWP trainingAWP equipment is very useful. It allows users access to usually inaccessible areas, usually at height. They can be used by maintenance workers, construction workers, firefighters (for emergency access); all while being operated by a single person (most models). AWPs can not only be used for transportation and/or access to certain areas, but also can be equipped with electrical outlets, compressed air (for power tools), and other specialist equipment.

There are many programs available for training operators of this equipment. Many of these training programs offer much to students regardless of their level of experience with AWPs. In fact, it is the differences in experience within the students in the class that usually makes for a great training atmosphere and allows every student to leave the training with some good information they didn’t know before.

Current Issues Facing the Industry

  • Understanding the importance of proper general training and familiarization
    • This is too often overlooked; you wouldn’t want someone on the road who simply ‘skimmed’ a driver’s manual and has not familiarized themselves with the make/model of the vehicle they’re driving, would you? So why send someone onto a machine in which they know very little about?
  • Improper training
    • Does driver’s ed simply show you a 15 minute video presentation, give you a driver’s license and wish you luck on the road? Heck no!
  • Confusion between general training and familiarization
    • Do you know the difference? Here’s how ANSI defines the two:
      • Familiarization: “Providing information regarding the control functions and safety devices for the aerial work platform(s) to a qualified person or operator who controls the movement of the aerial work platform(s) being delivered.”
      • General Training: “Instruction to enable the trainee to become a qualified person regarding the task to be performed, including knowledge regarding potential hazards.”
  • Misunderstanding of who is qualified to be a trainer
    • ANSI defines a ‘qualified person’ as follows (this pertains to operators and trainers alike):
      • “One who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated his/her ability to solve or resolve problems related to the subject matter, the work, or the project.”
  • Need for clarification of all AWP equipment  stakeholders’ responsibilities
    • ANSI is looking to address certain issues in an updated version of the standards.
  • Impact on insurance
    • Although, in a general sense, with appropriate training “accidents” are less likely to happen and therefore less insurance would be claimed/paid out.

Aerial lift training, aerial work platform training, aerial lift safety trainingIn next week’s blog article, we will address many of these issues and shed light upon how to be ‘appropriately’ trained to use an AWP. This should serve as a thought-provoking piece until then, when we will discuss training, being ‘qualified’ and the importance of familiarization for the operator.

I will however, share with you some AWP safety tips. These are very important to follow, as the equipment being operated is potentially dangerous if operated incorrectly. Failure to follow these tips could result in serious injury, or worse. Stay safe, ingrain these in your head, and come back next week for additional best practices for aerial work platforms!

Aerial Work Platform Safety Tips

  1. Make sure that workers who operate aerial lifts are properly trained inAerial lift training, aerial work platform training, aerial lift safety training the safe use of the equipment.
  2. Maintain and operate elevating work platforms according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  3. Never override hydraulic, mechanical, or electrical safety devices.
  4. Never move the equipment with workers in an elevated platform unless this is permitted by the manufacturer.
  5. Do not allow workers to position themselves between overhead hazards, such as joists and beams, and the rails of the basket. Movement of the lift could crush the worker(s).
  6. Aerial lift training, aerial work platform training, aerial lift safety trainingMaintain a minimum clearance of at least 10 feet, or 3 meters, away from the nearest energized overhead lines.
  7. Always treat power lines, wires and other conductors as energized, even if they are down or appear to be insulated.
  8. Use a body harness or restraining belt with a lanyard attached to the boom or basket to prevent the worker(s) from being ejected or pulled from the basket.
  9. Set the brakes and use wheel chocks when on an incline.
  10. Use outriggers, if provided.
  11. Do not exceed the load limits of the equipment. Allow for the combined weight of the worker, tools and materials.






Safety Training Services, Inc. offers aerial work platform training for you and your workers! Our AWP training can be customized to include scissor, boom lift, or both. We provide the participant the necessary knowledge regarding the units operation, hazards and safeguards. This course consists of classwork, written testing and (hands-on) practical evaluation.

Aerial lift training, aerial work platform training, aerial lift safety trainingTraining is administered by professional safety trainers, specialized in delivering operator training for aerial equipment with an engaging course that exposes participants to multi-media content, cause & effect accident videos and current events. We also provide on-site training at your location, alleviating the need for participant travel.

All participants are issued course completion certificate and photo ID cards, (with successful course completion). We provide and maintain all necessary recordkeeping and make it available to our customer whenever you may need it. This training will help to minimize “loss time accidents” and help to maintain or improve your EMR – Experience Modification Rating.



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Tags: osha training, aerial lift safety training, awp training, aerial lift training, aerial work platform training

Machine Guarding: 5 Most Common Ways to Keep You Safe

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Tue, Sep 17, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

"Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries, such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns, or blindness. Safeguards are essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries. Any machine part, function, or process that may cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be eliminated or controlled."

--OSHA on "Machine Guarding"

5 Most Common Ways of Machine Guarding

  1. Barrier Guards
  2. Presence Sensing Devices (PSD)
  3. Pullbacks/Restraints
  4. Two-hand Controls/Two-hand Trip
  5. “A” and “B” Gates

Barrier Guards

machine guarding, barrier guard, osha 10, construction safetyThese are designed to keep the operator’s hands and arms from entering the “danger zone” as prescribed by the particular machine. They are appropriate safeguards for full revolution and part revolution mechanical power presses. They are usually the first point-of-operation safeguard considered for machines.

Regulation: 29 CFR 1910.217

  • Barrier guards on power presses must prevent the entry of hands or fingers into the point of operation by reaching through, over, under or around the guard.
  • The barrier guards must conform to maximum permissible openings tables.
  • The barrier guard itself must not create pinch points between the guard and moving machine parts.
  • The guard must not be easily removable.
  • The guard must not interfere with machine inspection.
  • The barrier guard must offer maximum visibility of the point of operation consistent with the other requirements.

Presence Sensing Devices

These are designed to automatically stop the machine stroke if sensing field is interrupted.machine guarding, psd, osha 10, construction safety Proper use provides protection not only for operators but also for other employees in the area. They are one of the most common safeguards for automatic feed part revolution clutch presses, and have many requirements that must be met before they can be installed as point-of-operation safeguards.

Regulation: 29 CFR 1910.217

  • Presence sensing devices (PSD) cannot be used on machines using full revolution clutches.
  • A PSD must protect the operator by preventing or stopping normal stroking of the press if the operator’s hands are inadvertently placed in the point of operation. The PSD must also be interlocked into the control circuit so that the slide motion will stop the downstroke from continuing if any part of the operator's body is within the sensing field at that time.
  • Guards must be used to protect all areas of entry to the point of operation not protected by the PSD.
  • PSDs cannot be used as a tripping means to initiate slide motion.
  • Should a failure occur within the system, the PSD must be constructed so that the normal stopping action is still applied when required, but prevents the start of the next stroke until the failure is corrected. The failure must be indicated by the system.
  • “Muting” or bypassing of the PSD during the upstroke of the press slide is permitted for parts ejection, circuit checking, and feeding.
  • The safety distance from the sensing field to the point of operation must be greater than the distance determined by the safety distance formula.



These are safeguarding devices on both full and part revolution power presses. They are similar to restraints, but are designed to pull the operator’s hands away from the area of the closing dies (point of operation) during each stroke of the power press.

Regulation: 29 CFR 1910.217

  • machine guarding, pullbacks, osha 10, construction safetyAttachments must be connected to and operated by the press slide or upper die.
  • Attachments must be adjusted to prevent the operator from reaching into the point of operation or to withdraw the operator’s hands from the point of operation before the dies close.
  • A separate pullout device must be provided for each operator if more than one operator is used on the press.
  • Each pullout device in use must be inspected and checked for proper adjustment at the start of each operator shift, following a new die set-up, and when operators are changed. Necessary maintenance or repair on both must be performed and completed before the press is operated.
  • Inspection and Maintenance Records. It is the responsibility of the employer to make periodic and regular safety inspections and keep accurate records of them.


Sometimes referred as “holdouts,” restraints are similar to pullbacks and are appropriate safeguards for both full and part revolution mechanical power presses. When properly anchored, restraints are adjusted so that the operator can never reach the point of operation. The size and type of restraint depends on the size and type of press.

Regulation: 29 CFR 1910.217

  • A holdout or a restraint device must protect the operator by preventing the operator from inadvertently reaching into the point of operation at all times and must include attachments for each of the operator’s hands.
  • Attachments must be securely anchored and adjusted and separate set of restraints must be provided for each operator if more than one is required on a press.

Two-hand Controls/Two-hand Trip

Two-hand Controls

These are safeguarding devices in the single stroke mode of operation on part revolution clutch presses. It is similar to the two-hand trip; this device keeps the operators hands away from the point of operation during the entire machine stroke.

Regulation: 29 CFR 1910.217

  • Press operations requiring more than one operator must provide eachmachine guarding, two-hand control, osha 10, construction safety operator with separate two-hand controls where each set must be engaged to complete a machine stroke. The removal of a hand from any control button will stop the slide.
  • Each two-hand control must meet the construction requirements of paragraph 29 CFR 1910.217(b)(7)(v).
  • The safety distance between each hand control device and the point of operation must be greater than the distance determined by the safety distance formula.
  • Two-hand controls’ position must be fixed so that only a supervisor of safety engineer is capable of relocating them.

Two-hand Trip

These are safeguarding devices used on a full revolution clutch power press only. It requires the joint operation of two trigger buttons located away from the “danger zone” of the press. It is similar to two-hand controls in that it requires the operator’s hands to be away from the point of operation to activate the machine stroke, but differs in that activation of the machine stroke requires only a "trip" of the controls whereas a two-hand control requires continued pressure.

Regulation: 29 CFR 1910.217

  • When used in press operations requiring more than one operator, separate two hand trips must be provided for each operator, and must be designed to require concurrent application of both operators to activate the slide.
  • A two-hand trip shall have the individual operator's hand controls protected against unintentional operation and have the individual operator's hand controls arranged by design and construction and/or separation to require the use of both hands to trip the press and use a control arrangement requiring concurrent operation of the individual operator's hand controls.
  • The safety distance between the two-hand trip and the point of operation must be greater than the distance determined by the safety distance formula. 
  • Like two-hand control devices, two-hand trips’ position must be fixed so that only a supervisor or safety engineer is capable of relocating the controls.

“A” Gates/”B” Gates

Type "A" and "B" Gates are both recognized methods for power press safeguarding. The "A" gate is used in both full and part revolution clutch presses while the "B" gate is for part revolution presses only.

machine guarding, osha 10, construction safetyType “A” Gates

These protect the operator during the entire machine stroke. This means the gate will not open until after the crankshaft rotation is complete (360°) and the machine is stopped at top dead center. Although Type "A" Gates can be used on either part or full revolution clutch presses, best safety practice is the "A" gate should be used only on full revolution clutch presses.

Type “B” Gates

These protect the operator during the downstroke only. The gate starts to open before the crankshaft rotation is complete (generally after 180° crankshaft rotation). The gates must open on the upstroke of the machine cycle before the crankshaft rotation is complete.

Regulation: 29 CFR 1910.217, 29 CFR 1910.212

  • In both cases (“A” & “B” Gates), operators must be prevented from placing their hands or any other body parts in the point of operation during the die-closing portion of the press stroke.
  • The guard itself must comply with applicable standards.
Remember, machine guarding is a OSHA safety topic available for any OSHA-10 or OSHA-30 safety course. If you have interest in an OSHA course through Safety Training Services, Inc. click the button below for more information!
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Tags: construction safety, osha safety topics, machine guarding, osha 10

10 Safety Rules Homeowners Should Follow When It Comes to Electricity

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Mon, Sep 09, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

Electrical Safety, Safety TipsOwning a home may be the American dream, but it can also be a very expensive adventure. When something goes wrong or breaks, the responsibility of correcting the problem lies solely with you, rather than being paid for by a landlord. When it comes to electricity, there's more at stake than just a repair bill and a bit of inconvenience. The energy that powers all of the devices in your home and makes modern life so much simpler can also be a very real danger if you're not properly aware of how to handle it in a safe and effective manner. These ten tips are among those that homeowners should always keep in mind when dealing with electricity for the sake of safety and security.

  1. Don't be an Electrical Do-It-Yourselfer – Taking on a big project in your home can be a very rewarding and exciting experience, but it can also be a very dangerous prospect when the project in question is one that requires electrical work. Unless you're an experienced electrician, it's best to leave all related work to the professionals. Attempting to save a little bit of money can be very expensive when something as powerful as electricity is part of the equation.
  2. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters – Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, are an essential part of home electrical safety. When ground faults or leakage currents are detected, a GFCI will trip the circuit and shut off the power, preventing severe shocks and electrocution. In addition to installing GFCIs, you should also make a point of testing them each month to ensure that they work properly.
  3. Don't Ignore Faulty Outlets and Switches – When you own your home, it can often seem as if there is an endless parade of things that need to be fixed or upgraded. While some projects can be put off for a rainy day or until there's more money in the bank, problems with electrical outlets or switches aren't among them. Inoperable outlets can be an indicator of wiring faults, which can present a fire hazard.
  4. Pay Attention if Outlets Feel Warm to the Touch – If you place your hand on a switch or outlet and it feels warmer than usual, it can be an indicator of a fire-hazard wiring condition and should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent house fires or other dangerous and destructive events.
  5. Keep an Eye Out for Discoloration – Outlet covers or switchplates that are discolored in a manner that suggests exposure to heat are no laughing matter, nor are they something that should be put off until later. They're a strong indication that there are problems with the wiring in your home, and could be the warning signs of an impending electrical fire.
  6. Childproof all Outlets – If there are curious little explorers in your home, one rule that you should always abide by is the vigilant use of childproof outlet covers. Kids are fascinated by the outlets that are frequently placed right at eye level for a crawling little one, and can be seriously injured if their tampering leads them to place an object inside the outlet slots.
  7. Address Outlets or Switches that Make Unusual Noises – If an outlet or switch in your home makes any sort of unusual sound, including buzzing or sizzling noises, it's important that you consult a professional promptly.
  8. Replace Frayed or Damaged Cords Immediately – Normal wear and tear or the attention of pets' teeth and claws can fray or damage an electrical cord, which can present a shock or fire hazard if the bare inner wires come into contact with some surfaces, including carpets and skin.
  9. Don't Pinch the Wires! – If you have to bend a cord, be sure that you do so loosely and never crimp or pinch them. These actions can break or tear the plastic housing around the live wires, leaving them exposed in dangerous and potentially destructive ways. You should also never attach wires and cables to surfaces with staples or nails that could cut through the plastic coating, either.
  10. Install and Maintain Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters – Arc fault circuit interrupters provide greater protection than normal circuit breakers from electrical fires, and should be installed to protect your home. Just like GFCIs, you should make a point of testing them once a month to ensure proper functionality.

Tags: electrical safety, general safety tips, electrical safety tips, fire safety