Developing a boom truck safety process
Companies using knuckle boom and articulating boom trucks must take extra steps to ensure employees are using them safely.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) now exempts knuckle boom and articulating boom trucks that make deliveries to construction sites from the stringent regulations affecting cranes. Safety standards can be found in 29 CFR 1926.1400 (sections (c)(17)(ii)). Companies using these trucks must take steps to make certain that employees are operating safely. OSHA standards can change and should be verified as correct and up-to-date.
When developing your boom truck safety process, consider these recommended steps:
It’s important to make sure that all employees who will be responsible for operating a boom truck undergo thorough classroom training. Classroom training should include:
- Overview of company safety procedures and requirements
- Understanding the design and hazards of the equipment
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) required for operation
- Instruction on how to conduct daily inspections of truck and boom
- Procedures for delivery site inspections, filing requirements, and how to maintain stability
- Hazard recognition and how to implement corrective actions
- Load chart recognition and how to read and use them
- Procedures for critical lifts
- Discussion on wind affecting the load movement and equipment operation
- Clearance from power lines
- Discussion on caught-between and crushing hazards
- Soil conditions and the stability of the equipment
When classroom training is completed, the drivers/operators should go through hands-on training and supervised practice to demonstrate successful operation of the following skills:
- Truck and boom inspections
- Use of the required PPE
- How to maintain stability in all conditions
- Correct operation of controls
- How to understand the layout of job sites
- How to properly manage load manipulation and placement
Appropriate Skill Practicing
The main goal of this is to have the new driver/operator practice the skills learned in the classroom and have hands-on training until they are comfortable with the operations of the equipment. Checklists and documentation of the training for operation, equipment inspection, understanding of controls, job site inspection, maintaining stability, and recognition of hazards can be developed to help in the training process. An experienced operator should accompany and train a new operator until they are comfortable operating the equipment on their own.
To ensure that safe deliveries with boom trucks occur, hold documented reviews to prove incident-free operation on a routine basis.