Your Guide to OSHA Boom Lift Safety Requirements

In industry and construction, it is sometimes necessary to elevate materials or personnel above ground level. A boom lift is a bucket attachment that connects to a vehicle via an extendable arm called a boom. It is one of several aerial lifts mounted to a vehicle and used in construction and industry. It is important to observe boom lift safety at all times to prevent serious accidents.

What Hazards Can Undermine Boom Lift Safety?

There are many different types of boom lifts, including articulating, electric, and straight-mast. Each of these types offers advantages over traditional scaffolding in terms of flexibility and mobility, leading many worksites to replace ladders with boom lifts. However, both the height of the boom lift and its mobility can introduce potential hazards to the work site.


One of the most significant hazards of boom lifts is the risk that a worker could fall from the basket. Falling from height can result in serious injuries. This risk increases if the lift is in motion with a person in the basket, especially if the lift was not designed for this purpose.


Without adequate stabilization, a boom lift could tip over completely. This could result in injuries not only to operators but to bystanders as well.

Falling Objects

A tool or other object that falls off the lift platform could hit someone standing below the boom and potentially result in serious injuries.

Electrical Shock

If a boom lift comes in contact with overhead power lines, it could result in an electrical shock. This primarily affects operators, but anyone who comes into contact with the boom lift while it is electrified could also suffer an injury.

What Safety Measures Has OSHA Imposed?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a government agency tasked with setting and enforcing standards to maintain safe working conditions for everyone. OSHA imposes several boom lift safety requirements in the interest of preventing injuries to operators and others who may be at risk.


Per OSHA requirements, no one may operate a boom lift without proper authorization.

Personal Protective Equipment

OSHA requires that anyone in the basket of a boom lift wear a safety harness secured with a lanyard secured to a substantial structure to prevent injuries from falls.

Preoperative Inspection

To comply with OSHA requirements, anyone who operates a boom lift has to perform a thorough inspection of it beforehand to make sure that it is in good condition, the controls are functional, and the hydraulic system has no damage.


Not all boom lifts are designed for people to ride in the basket while in motion. If this was not the intention behind the boom lift's design, OSHA prohibits it from moving at all while someone is in the basket.


OSHA requires that boom lifts have outriggers to provide stability at their bases to prevent them from tipping over. The outriggers may use electrical, hydraulic, or manual operation, but operators must follow manufacturers' instructions for using them.

What Does Boom Lift Safety Have To Do With Buying New Equipment?

A big part of boom lift safety is having the right equipment for the job. Get a quote on new and used boom lifts from Industrial Forklift Truck.

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