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Aerial Highlift Operation Safety Rules

The Western Illinois University Facilities Management Physical Plant has two aerial work platforms which are used by our Building Maintenance and Grounds departments: A one-person Versalift mounted on a two-ton Chevy truck with a working height of 28 feet and a two-person self-propelled JLG manlift with a working height of 66 feet. Like any other piece of equipment, the efficiency, performance, service life and safety of these personnel lifting devices depends on proper inspection, maintenance, and most importantly, proper usage.

Because personnel lifting devices are potentially dangerous in the hands of untrained and/or careless operators, only qualified and trained personnel who have read and understood the operation manual, and are thoroughly familiar with all operating procedures, warnings, and cautions found in the manual and on the units will be allowed to operate these lifts.

General Operation Safety Instructions

  • All platform occupants must wear and use an approved safety belt as required by OSHA. Attach safety belt to platform anchor point. Always wear a hard hat and any other protective clothing or equipment as required by your specific job. When moving the platform, check clearance around the lift to avoid contact with structures or hazards. Always look in the direction of motion. Keep ground personnel from under the platform when it is the elevated position.
  • When absolutely necessary to transfer from platform to another structure or vice versa, use extreme caution attaching safety belt immediately upon entering the platform. A required safety practice is to have personnel that are trained to provide operator support working in the immediate area to assist the platform operator in the event of an emergency.
  • DO NOT operate the lift near electrical conductors. Regard all conductors as being energized.
  • DO NOT exceed the unrestricted platform capacity as indicated on the capacity placards at the platform and ground control station.
  • DO NOT allow wires, cables, hoses, rope or other materials to trail down from platform when moving the lift.
  • DO NOT operate lift unless you are completely familiar with operating characteristics and have inspected and tested all functions to be sure they are in proper working order.
  • DO NOT raise the lift boom on unleveled or soft ground. Operation of unit MUST be on a firm surface.
  • DO NOT operate a lift that is not functioning properly, or that has been damaged until the unit has been repaired by qualified maintenance personnel.
  • DO NOT operate a lift that does not have all safety and instruction, warning or caution decals and placards attached and legible. (Refer to your "Operation and Maintenance Manual" for proper decals and placards and their locations.)
  • DO NOT use ladders, planks, or other devices to extend or increase work position from the platform.
  • DO NOT sit or climb on platform railing. Keep feet on platform floor at all times.
  • DO NOT jerk controls. Move controls slowly and deliberately to avoid jerky and erratic operation. ALWAYS stop controls in neutral "OFF" position before operating in opposite direction.
  • DO NOT use boom for any purpose other than to position personnel and their tools and equipment.
  • DO NOT use the lift as a crane.
  • DO NOT engage in any form of "Horseplay" while operating the unit.
  • DO NOT operate lift in high wind conditions. (Wind or wind gusts of 25 MPH or more).
  • DO NOT operate out of doors during thunderstorms.
  • DO NOT modify the lift in any way without prior factory approval.
  • DO NOT override any of the safety features of the unit.
  • DO NOT fill fuel tank while engine is running. Refuel slowly to prevent spillage which is a fire hazard.
  • DO NOT operate inside a building unless it is well ventilated.
  • DO NOT kill hot engine operating at high RPM - idle engine before stopping.
  • Maintenance MUST be performed in accordance with factory recommendations contained in the JLG "Operation and Maintenance Manual".
  • If a safety or an operational problem is encountered which is not covered in the lift manuals, consult your dealer or the factory for recommendations.
  • DO NOT elevate the lift boom on soft ground, or on a slope in excess of 5%, (6 inch rise in 10 feet).
  • DO NOT raise or extend boom, (extendible axle unit), unless axles are extended and locked.
  • DO NOT carry loads from any point outside of platform.
  • Personnel must be inside platform while working aloft.
  • Secure all accessories, containers, tools and other materials in the platform to prevent them from accidental falling or being kicked from the platform.