Providing Backdrop Rentals and Theatrical Equipment and Supplies

THEATRE SAFETY PROGRAMS
SAFETY AND TRAINING INFORMATION
Safety is no accident

Personnel Lifts

Personnel lifts are extremely useful machines. However, if not operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and accepted practice they can become extremely dangerous. Separate records are not kept that tell us how many deaths or injuries take place each year due to the improper use of these machines, but the anecdotal evidence indicates that the number is large.

As use of these lifts becomes routine to the operator it is easy to overlook the things which must be done to safely use these very effective machines.

First, OSHA requires "only trained persons shall operate an aerial lift". This means that if you have not been trained or feel that your training is inadequate, you are not to operate an aerial lift.

As an operator of an aerial lift you must have read and understood the operating manual and any DANGERS, WARNINGS or CAUTIONS related to the operation of the particular lift described in the manual.

BEFORE OPERATION AN INSPECTION OF THE EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE DONE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTIONS AND SHOULD INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

      1. Check that all guardrails are in place and all fasteners are properly tightened. Carefully inspect the entire lift for damage such as cracked welds or structural members, loose or missing parts, oil leaks, damaged cables or hoses, loose connections and wheel damage.
      2. WHEELS and CASTERS: Are properly secured, wheels and casters turn freely and are properly lubricated. Check for any visual damage.
      3. BASE FRAME: No visible damage; components are properly secured, no loose wires dangling below base; bubble level in place and functioning properly.
      4. BATTERY/BATTERY CHARGER INSTALLATION: (DC Machines) Proper battery electrolyte level, cables are secure with no damage or corrosion. Check for fully charged battery.
      5. OUTRIGGER SOCKETS: Properly secured to frame, no visible damage (cracks, distortion, etc.). Outrigger lock/release in place and secure, no visible damage.
      6. Outrigger interlock contacts (inside outrigger sockets) are secure and clean.
      7. OUTRIGGER BEAMS: No visible damage (cracks, distortion, etc.), outrigger interlock contacts properly installed and clean. Leveling jacks secure, lubricated and functioning properly. Inspect all outriggers for bends, cracks, and condition of the screwjacks and screwjack pads. Verify the interlock system, if present is working properly.
      8. MOTOR/PUMP/RESERVOIR UNIT: All part properly secured, no visible damage, no evidence of hydraulic leaks. Check that the hydraulic reservoir fluid level is filled to the “Fill to Line” mark on the side of the reservoir.
      9. CONTROL VALVE/MANUAL RELEASE VALVE: Properly secured, no loose or missing parts, no visible damage.
      10. MAST INSTALLATION: Mast sections properly secured, no visible damage to mast sections, no loose or missing parts, slide pads properly secured, lubricated and undamaged. Mast chains and cables properly secured, lubricated and undamaged. Sequencing cables properly secured and undamaged.
      11. GROUND CONTROLS: Key switch operable, no visible damage; placards secure and legible; emergency stop switch, no visible damage and properly set for operation.
      12. PLATFORM CONTROLS: Up/Down and Function Enable buttons properly secured, no loose or missing parts, no visible damage. Placards secure and legible, emergency shut-off button set for operation. Control markings legible; Operators manual enclosed in manual storage tube.
      13. PLATFORM ASSEMBLY: Secure to mast; no loose or missing parts, no visible damage. Control and power cables, no visible damage; cables properly tensioned and seated in control cable sheaves; control cable sheaves not damaged and rotate freely.
      14. Any other checks required by the manufacturer of your machine.
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WARNING! DO NOT OPERATE MACHINE UNTIL ALL MALFUNCTIONS HAVE BEEN CORRECTED.

WHEN OPERATING THE LIFT REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING:
        OSHA requirements include:
      • Employees shall always stand firmly on the floor of the basket and shall not sit or climb on the edge of the basket or use planks, ladders, or other devices for a work position.
      • Boom and basket load limits specified by the manufacturer shall not be exceeded.
      • The lift shall NOT be used as a crane, material hoist or personnel elevator.
      • Keep a safe distance from electrical lines.
      • If there is ANY malfunction of the equipment, shut down the lift and call your supervisor.

Do not try to repair a malfunctioning lift yourself.

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OPERATING SAFELY:

        DO NOT:
      • Elevate a platform unless all outriggers are properly installed.
      • Move the machine with the platform elevated unless the machine manufacturer permits it.
      • Enter or elevate the platform unless the machine base is properly leveled.
      • Operate the machine on a soft footing that will allow leveling jacks to settle or break through the surface.
      • Disable or modify any safety device or system.
      • Tie machine off to an adjacent structure. Never attach a wire, cable, rope or similar items to the platform.
      • Use a defective machine.
      • Sit or climb on the edge of the basket or use planks, ladders, or other devices for a work position.
      • Climb the mast to get to the platform.
      • Lean ladders against machine.
      • Attach overhanging loads to the platform.
      • Permit horseplay in the platform.
      • Modify the machine.

      • DO:
      • Inspect the machine before use.
      • Follow all manufacturers’ instructions.
      • Wear whatever personal protective equipment (PPE) the work being performed requires.
      • Set-up machine on firm surface capable of being leveled.
      • Check area for overhead electric lines.
      • Check overhead clearances.
      • Have ground personnel stand clear while platform is being raised or lowered.
      • Keep machine clean and free of debris.
      • Report all machine malfunctions.
      • Secure machine at the end of the task.

CHARGING/CHANGING BATTERIES:
      • Only trained, designated persons shall change or charge batteries.
      • Battery charging shall be performed in designated areas.
      • Smoking and other ignition sources are prohibited in charging areas.
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