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Safety Shooter Safe Use of Lift Equipment in Shotcrete By Mason Guarino Woften learned that aerial lift equipment safety feature and the rental company did not pickfound that when first using rental equipment,sometimes the previous renter had disabled aith shotcrete needed in a wide variety oflocations and environments, we have is the best and fastest way to access all the places up on it when transferring to you. These are hard where shotcrete is placed. Lift equipment saves to spot but worth checking when going through immense time over scaffolding and really helps the owner’s manual on first use of the lift. Recon- you get close to the work you are doing without sider the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude having parts of the scaffolding get in the way. because an OSHA visit would most likely not However, working at heights can get dangerous, accept the “they gave it to me like this” excuse, especially when people can easily manipulate the especially if someone gets hurt. So reading the work platform that they are on. owner’s manual and making sure the lift is oper- There are many different types of aerial lifts ating correctly with all safety features operational but they boil down to two main types: the scissor is an important step. lift and the boom lift. These tools are very basic Some routine misuses of common sense are to use when used properly. The owner’s manual when you are at the maximum height and just can be the most useful item when first using a lift need to reach another foot, so you stand on a bucket that you are unfamiliar with. In addition to the or climb the railing to get that extra foot out of potential fall hazard, these lifts can also create the lift. This is when you need to realize you do dangerous scenarios because they are self-pro- not have the correct tool for the job. There are a pelled and some can be moved while the platform multitude of different types of lifts that can reach is extended. With all the dangers that these tools in all different ways, so if you can’t reach it with have on their own, we then introduce shotcrete the one you have, there is most likely another one nozzling to the aerial work platform. out there that can. Rental company sales people The first step to using lifts safely is common are always happy to make a site visit to help you sense. Common sense is probably the most important get the correct tool for the job. Typically the rental tool that a person can have when working around company will also provide a class and certification anything that can be dangerous. The first thing to all employees who will be using the lift to ensure anyone should do when they first get onto a piece safe operation and proficiency (refer to Fig. 1). of lift equipment they have never used is to read Before getting into shotcrete specific lift the owner’s manual. The manual will describe the knowledge, I need to touch on driving safety. basic safety requirements and how to operate the Remember that lifts are designed to have a mas- lift and all of its features correctly—for example, sive amount of weight very close to the ground whether or not this type of lift requires a harness. and you are a very light thing potentially very All boom lifts require harnesses and typically high off the ground or at least very far away from scissor lifts do not. However, some jobsites the lift’s center of gravity, especially on a boom require the use of harnesses in all lifts. lift, even when retracted. There is another piece Understanding the tool is a good way to keep of equipment that has a very large weight on one from hurting yourself or others. A popular thing end and a very small weight on the other end, and in the construction industry is to disable safety it looks surprisingly like a boom lift. It’s called a features that are either “annoying” or “slow us catapult, and it is possible to use a lift as a catapult down.” These safety features are there for a reason with the operator as the projectile. It is more and should stay operational. It is very popular to common with boom lifts than with scissor lifts use lifts provided by rental companies and I have but the rules apply to both. When driving a lift, 46 Shotcrete • Fall 2015


2015FallShotcreteEMag
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