Preventing Falls from Aerial Lifts: Critical Safety Measures for Construction Workers

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Construction Accident, Firm News, Industrial Accident

Aerial lifts are indispensable on construction projects, providing workers with safe access to elevated heights. These lifts, which include boom lifts and scissor lifts, offer versatile platforms for construction, maintenance, and repair work. Despite their benefits, they also pose significant fall hazards when not operated correctly or when safety measures are overlooked. In this article, we’ll explore the key causes of falls from aerial lifts and highlight essential safety measures that can reduce the risk of injuries.

Causes of Falls from Aerial Lifts

  1. Inadequate Fall Protection: One of the primary causes of falls from aerial lifts is the absence of adequate fall protection systems. Workers who aren’t wearing harnesses or don’t use guardrails are at a much higher risk of falling when maneuvering on the platform.
  2. Operator Error and Lack of Training: Operating an aerial lift requires specific knowledge and training to ensure safe use. Inadequate training or failure to follow safety protocols can lead to sudden, unsafe movements, such as moving the lift while elevated or making abrupt directional changes.
  3. Mechanical Failures: Regular wear and tear or poor maintenance can lead to mechanical issues like hydraulic leaks or sudden engine failures. Such malfunctions can destabilize the lift or cause sudden movements that may throw workers off balance.
  4. Improper Setup: Failure to set up the lift properly on firm, level ground can make it unstable, especially at higher elevations. Unstable surfaces increase the risk of tip-overs, particularly if the lift is already fully extended.

Essential Safety Measures for Aerial Lifts

  1. Fall Protection Equipment: Workers should always wear personal fall protection equipment, including harnesses and lanyards, to reduce the risk of injury if they lose balance or fall. Guardrails should also be checked before each use to ensure they are secure.
  2. Operator Training: Comprehensive training is crucial for all aerial lift operators. This training should cover the specific model being used, safe maneuvering techniques, weight capacity limits, and emergency procedures.
  3. Pre-Operation Inspections: Conducting pre-operation inspections can identify potential mechanical issues before they cause an accident. Check for hydraulic leaks, inspect the lift’s stabilizers, test emergency controls, and verify that all safety equipment is functional.
  4. Proper Setup and Terrain Assessment: Before positioning the lift, inspect the ground conditions to ensure it’s firm and level. Avoid operating the lift on unstable surfaces like sand, mud, or steep inclines, and always use stabilizers or outriggers if the lift is equipped with them.
  5. Environmental Monitoring: Monitor weather conditions closely to avoid operating the lift during strong winds, heavy rain, or icy conditions, all of which can make the platform unstable.


Falls from aerial lifts can be prevented by adhering to strict safety protocols, providing comprehensive operator training, and conducting regular maintenance checks. Understanding the risks associated with fall protection, mechanical failures, and improper setup is crucial for preventing falls and ensuring worker safety on construction sites. Workers who suffer injuries from aerial lift falls due to negligence or lack of safety measures should seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney to understand their rights and secure fair compensation.

Our experienced lawyers have handled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits of all kinds and have the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously hurt.  The experienced scissor lift personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident involving a scissor lift.

Our lawyers have represented numerous workers who have sustained serious and catastrophic injuries on a job site as a result of the negligence of another party.  There are strict and short time limits on making claims, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your legal rights.