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Service and operate elevated work platforms safely

Two fatal accidents and two near-miss accidents have highlighted concerns regarding the safety of operators using self-propelled elevated work platforms. WCB investigations have revealed that there are stability problems when equipment is not on a firm, level surface. Potential hazards result when the equipment is set up on an uneven slope or when the work platform is moved and the slope becomes uneven. A sudden change of elevation caused by the equipment’s wheels hitting curbs, or running into holes or over obstructions will also affect the unit’s stability. Follow-up investigations revealed that, in some instances, safety devices were deliberately made inoperative. These safety devices lower the platform or set off an alarm that alerts the operator that the tilt angle has exceeded the safety limits.

Safe work practices:
• Train operators to operate equipment safely.
• Ensure that the supporting surface is firm, level,
clear of depressions or obstructions, and that
wheels and/or outriggers are contacting the ground
before elevating or repositioning the unit.
• Test equipment before operation to ensure all
safety devices are fully functional.
• Ensure that all level indicators are in place and fully
• Know the tilt limits of the machine.
• Wear fall protection, if required by WCB regulations or the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Do not connect fall-arrest lanyards to objects outside of the machine.
This is an article originally published by WorkSafe BC as a PDF file. We have republished it here for a more convenient Web Viewing and reference for our customers.

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