Cherry pickers are a very useful tool for things like construction projects, and other jobs in high places that can’t be reached by a ladder. Cherry pickers require certain skills and information to operate them correctly and carefully and all operatives should have qualified cherry picker training. Keep reading for the dos and don’ts on making sure you’re using cherry pickers correctly.
Working at a height can be very dangerous. Falls are the biggest reason for serious injuries, the safety of using a cherry picker can often be overlooked, this is because of people thinking they’re safe due to the fact they’re in a secure work platform and have room to move about. Even though a cherry picker is safe, there are still some precautions that you have to follow.
Tip 1 – Check above and below before starting work with a cherry picker, you must always check the ground and the space above your head. The ground must be as level as possible, it’s advised that a cherry picker isn’t used on uneven ground. This is because when in use the extra weight on the platform plus any movement could cause the cherry picker to tip. Be aware of any wires overhead, making sure that there is nothing obstructing your movement or has the ability to crush you above. Checking it’s clear and you’re able to move where you need to.
Tip 2 – Do not rush. When working on a cherry picker there is a sense of false security, which can result in leaning over too far. The whole point of using a cherry picker is to allow you to work at heights in ease, move more and move the whole cherry picker from place to place when needed. Enabling you to get to those hard to reach places.
Tip 3 – Make sure a full risk assessment is carried out before completing work on the cherry picker. When completing the risk assessment it’s important to remember to assess the human element, this will reduce the risks of any unfortunate events. To some people, a cherry picker is a rare sight and like to watch on the ground below. This can be very distracting for the works as they stand below or trying to grab the attention of workers on the platform. By far the safest way to prevent accidents caused by other people is to exclude them as far away as possible from any working area, this can be done with barriers. Surround the cherry picker with fencing or by laying out some signs.
Make sure all work with the cherry picker is all planned and supervised, you should not work on the cherry picker when you are alone for safety reasons, someone should always be on the ground working with you. Always take into account the weather conditions too, as if its windy on the ground it’s going to be twice as windy when you’re in the air on the cherry picker.
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