Equipment and Machinery Safety, Training

Are There Training Requirements for Aerial Lift Operators?

Question: Does OSHA require that we train aerial lift operators on a specific frequency?

Aerial Lift

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Answer: No, there is no specific frequency requirement for training of aerial lift operators. For general industry, OSHA states, “Only trained persons shall operate an aerial lift,” (29 CFR 1910.67(c)(2)(ii)) but does not detail the particular scope or frequency of training. For construction industry uses, OSHA requires that only “authorized workers” operate aerial lifts, which the agency defines as “a person approved or assigned by the employer to perform a specific type of duty or duties or to be at a specific location or locations at the jobsite.”

In a letter of interpretation, OSHA states:

“Employers have the responsibility of devising methods to train their operators in the safe operation of aerial lifts. Only competent and careful operators should be assigned these duties. The operator shall be trained in safe operations and made familiar with the manufacturer’s manual, especially those parts which relate to operation, maintenance, and safety of aerial devices.”

From a best practice standpoint, aerial lift operators should be trained before being assigned to operate an aerial lift, before being assigned to operate a new type of aerial lift, when conditions at the worksite change, after an incident or near-miss involving an aerial lift, and whenever inadequacies in an employee’s level of knowledge or skill indicate that additional training may be necessary to ensure safety.

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