9 Tips for Safely Operating a Cherry Picker

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Although a mobile access platform offers several advantages over ladders and scaffolding, there is a learning curve involved. Operating a cherry picker, or boom lift, can be dangerous if proper precautions are not followed.

By following important cherry picker safety tips, operators can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. This helps to prevent injuries, equipment damage and costly interruptions to your operations.

If you’re wondering how to use a cherry picker safely and efficiently, read on. In this guide, we’ll cover everything from training and maintenance to the importance of appropriate PPE.

1. Take an Accredited Training Course

According to cherry picker safety regulations, employers and contractors must ensure that access platform operators are fully competent. This means that they must undergo appropriate training before using the machinery.

Make sure the training course you take is accredited by a recognised organisation. One example is the Powered Access Licence (PAL Card) available through the IPAF.

2. Read the Manufacturer’s Guidelines

Before operating an access platform, it is essential to read the operational guidelines and ensure that you understand all the instructions. Every model is different, so this is essential for guaranteeing cherry picker health and safety.

The manufacturer’s guidelines will contain detailed information on how to operate your cherry picker safely. It includes important information about the controls, operating procedures, and maintenance requirements.

3. Perform Regular Checks and Maintenance

Performing pre-operational checks is an essential safety practice that helps identify any potential issues with the cherry picker. Before using the machine, check the controls, tires, and hydraulic system to ensure they are in good working condition. This check can help detect any faults before they cause an accident.

If you choose TAG for cherry picker hire, we’ll take care of all cherry picker servicing and maintenance, keeping your machinery in good working order.

4. Choose a Stable Surface

Cherry pickers should be placed on a stable and level surface. Uneven or soft ground can cause the machine to tip over, leading to injuries or damage to the access equipment. Parking a cherry picker on a slope may increase the risk of tipping, especially in high winds.

Some cherry pickers are designed to handle outdoor and all-terrain use, while others are better suited to indoor use. If you’re going to be using it in difficult conditions, it’s important to choose the right access platform for the job.

5. Wear Appropriate PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential when operating a cherry picker. PPE for working on an access platform generally includes a hard hat, safety glasses, and a safety harness.

The hard hat and safety glasses protect the head and eyes from falling objects, while the safety harness prevents the operator from falling off the platform. It’s important to affix the harness securely in accordance with operational guidelines.

6. Never Exceed Safe Operational Limits

Each cherry picker model has its own restrictions when it comes to load, speed, height and horizontal outreach. It’s essential to understand the limits of the machine and ensure that you do not exceed them. Overloading the machine, or reaching over the edge of the platform, could potentially cause it to tip over.

Exceeding the recommended speed limit when driving the cherry picker can also contribute to a risk of accidents. It’s crucial to stick to the speed recommended by the manufacturer and the rules of the job site.

7. Use Caution While Manoeuvring

When manoeuvring the cherry picker, it’s essential to use caution, especially when changing directions or making turns. Sudden movements can cause the machine to tip over, leading to injuries or damage to the machine.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to keep a safe distance from overhead hazards. For example, contact with high-voltage power lines can cause electrocution. Ensure that the equipment is at least 9 metres away from power lines during all operations.

8. Keep the Access Platform Clear

The platform should be free of debris, tools, and other objects that could cause tripping or falling hazards. It’s essential to ensure that the platform is as clear as possible before use to prevent accidents.

Additionally, cherry pickers should never be driven while there are personnel, materials or other objects on the platform. This could increase the risk of falls.

9. Use the Emergency Stop Button

In case of an emergency, most modern cherry pickers are fitted with several safety features, including an emergency stop button. This is designed to immediately shut down the machine and prevent further damage or injury to workers or other individuals in the area.

The emergency stop button should be easily accessible to the operator and should be tested before use to ensure it’s functioning correctly.

TAG Forklift Trucks: Cherry Pickers for Sale and Hire

Cherry picker hire is a great option for businesses looking to maximise the efficiency of operations at height. At TAG Forklift Truck Services, we specialise in warehouse equipment and access platforms for hire and sale.

Our fleet includes cherry pickers, scissor lifts, masted lifts and forklifts from trusted brands such as JLG, Hyundai and Linde. We offer a range of long-term and short-term hire arrangements as well as new and used machinery for sale, refurbished to the highest standards.

Contact TAG today to find out more. Fill in our online form or call us on 0161 848 0555 to discuss your requirements with our helpful team.