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Bucket Truck – Aerial Lift Safety Talk

Bucket trucks or aerial lifts can be one of the most useful and versatile vehicles on the jobsite when used correctly. Once on a jobsite, aerial or bucket truck operators must do a site survey to identify any potential hazards. Following this, an inspection of the area should be done, and a jobsite safety meeting \held before work takes place.

Potential Hazards to Consider:

  • Overturn- If placed on uneven ground, the vehicle can tip over once the lift is extended
  • Electrocution- Contact with an energized line can lead to electrocution
  • Crushing by Obstruction- If the lift is raised too close to another object employees can suffer crushing injuries
  • Entanglement- Workers operating around lines, limbs or other material that could become wrapped around the employee risk entanglement
  • Fall from Lift- If not properly secured to the bucket, workers can be thrown from or fall out
  • Struck By Hazards – Passing traffic as well as unsecured tools and equipment can pose significant struck by risks

Safe Operation Points to Keep in Mind:

  • Operators should read the owner’s manual and be aware of the limitations for equipment used
  • The lift should be operated in smooth movements, avoiding abrupt changes in speed or direction
  • Always engage brakes, chock wheels and set outriggers regardless of terrain
  • All employees working in the bucket must be wearing appropriate fall protection and be attached to an anchor point in the bucket keeping feet on the floor at all times
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from power lines and ground workers should not touch the vehicle when in use
  • A safe zone should be marked around the vehicle when in use to prohibit anyone from walking below
  • Ensure employees in the bucket know safe escape methods and those on the ground are trained in rescue procedures

All employees working in or around a bucket truck or aerial lift should be trained on safe practices and expectations. Ensure everyone has a clear understanding of the scope of work to be done and their part in it.


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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