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					Bucket Truck

Safety
Whether it is a fall from the bucket, an electrocution from getting too close to a power line, or a traffic accident, bucket trucks have the potential to cause serious injury to those operating or working with them. Therefore, becoming familiar with safety issues likely to be encountered while using this equipment is crucial. While it may be impossible to identify all hazards that are associated with each bucket truck and each work site, it is possible to highlight a few of the more common ones. First, all operators should read the operator's manual. If you have operators who cannot read the language the manual is written in, look to the manufacturer for a translation, or find some other means to ensure these operators understand the contents. Next make sure your operators receive effective training. Other typical hazards include inadequate safety gear and not paying attention. Inadequate Equipment Bucket truck workers are required to wear and use various kinds of personal protective equipment. Generally speaking, bucket truck operators should wear the following PPE:
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ANSI-approved hard hats designed to reduce the danger of exposure to electrical shock; eye protection and fire-resistant clothing if electric arcs, flashes, explosions, or flying objects might be present; a fall-restraint safety belt system or full-body harness, fall-arrest system; and

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gloves, sleeves, cover-up and hot sticks for qualified personnel working on or near exposed conductors and circuit parts.

Not Paying Attention During the setup process for bucket truck work, a critical task is looking for and avoiding hazards that may set the stage for a tip-over accident. These hazards include potholes, weak pavements, untamped earth fills, mud, sand, ruts, ditches and drop-offs. It is also critical to avoid setting up on slopes. When setting up a vehicle equipped with outriggers, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s operating recommendations. Outrigger pads may be necessary to assure firm footing. Just as important as outrigger usage is wheel chocking. Make sure wheel chocks are in good shape and are present on all vehicles. Train operators in how to use them. Not Following Correct Backing Procedures Visibility can be restricted in the rear of bucket trucks; therefore, the potential for hitting something or someone is high if proper safety procedures are not followed when backing up the vehicle. Bucket trucks having an obstructed view to the rear shall not be operated on off-highway job sites where any employee is exposed to the hazards created by the moving vehicle, unless:
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The vehicle has a reverse signal alarm audible above the surrounding noise level, or The vehicle is backed up only when a designated employee signals that it is safe to do so.

Not Maintaining Minimum Approach Distances One of the most dangerous aspects of some bucket truck work is working near energized lines or equipment. The approach distances that need to be followed vary with the work being performed. Electrical utility workers should maintain minimum approach distances unless:
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The employee is insulated from the energized part (insulating gloves or insulating gloves and sleeves or The energized part is insulated from the employee and from any other conductive object at a different potential, or The employee is insulated from any other exposed conductive object, as during live-line bare-hand work.

Boarding the Truck Improperly It may seem like a risk-free task, but boarding the truck and bucket can lead to injury. A few things that can help ensure safety are:

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Take off any unnecessary equipment that could hinder mobility. Also, remove any climbers or gaffs. Metal objects can contribute to electrocution hazard, and these should not be taken into the bucket unless absolutely necessary. Don't carry tools or other items in hands when boarding. Place needed items on the truck deck. Hand them up to a coworker, or use a rope to hoist them up once aboard. When clibing onto the truck, use handrails if available, and maintain three points of contact at all times — either two feet and one hand, or one foot and two hands. Always use anti-slip surfaces, and never jump to or from ladders, steps or walkways. Upon entering the bucket, close and latch the door, and attach the fall-arrest lanyard. Stay boxed in when performing work. This means standing firmly on the floor with both feet.

Positioning the Bucket One of the most common activities associated with the bucket truck is positioning the boom. Just like driving the truck, or any vehicle, bucket truck operators must look where they are going when moving the boom or bucket to avoid contact. And, since bucket trucks are commonly used around overhead obstructions, such as tree limbs and utility lines, paying attention to where you are moving the boom is critical. Moving the boom presents other hazards beyond striking something when moving vertically, if a person attempts to use an aerial device to pull or push loads horizontally. This should not be done. Booms are designed for vertical hoisting only. Inadequate Controls Aerial lifts contain operating controls for booms that support elevating work platforms. When these controls are not located properly, functioning properly, or not properly marked, accidents can happen. Generally, articulating and extensible boom platforms, primarily designed as personnel carriers, must have both platform (upper) and lower controls, and:
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Upper controls must be in or beside the platform within easy reach of the operator. Lower controls must provide for overriding the upper controls. Controls must be plainly marked as to their function. Lower level controls must not be operated unless permission is given from the employee in the lift, except in an emergency.

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posted:6/21/2009
language:English
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