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ONLINE self-study. Boomlift Non-Practical. Type: Scissor/Vertical.

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online self study

ONLINE self-study

Boomlift Non-Practical

type scissor vertical
Type: Scissor/Vertical

A scissor/vertical lift has a platform that CANNOT be positioned completely beyond the base and is used to position personnel, necessary tools, and materials at elevated work locations. Scissor/vertical aerial work platforms are power operated (motorized) with primary functions controlled from the platform.

type boom supported
Type: Boom Supported

A boom supported aerial work platform has a platform that can be positioned completely beyond the base and is used to position personnel, necessary tools and materials at elevated work locations. Boom supported aerial work platforms are power operated (motorized) with primary functions controlled from the platform. Examples: Boomlifts, Aerial lift, Man-lifts, Aerial Platforms, Articulated Booms, and Cherry Picker.

type straight mast booms
Type: Straight Mast Booms
  • Seventy-five percent of all boomlifts are of the straight mast boomlift type, with a normal load capacity of 500 lbs to 1000 lbs. These lifts can be powered by gasoline, propane, gas/propane, or diesel engines. There are primarily used for: painting, rough-in construction, electrical installations, piping installations, sand blasting operations, building maintenance, and any other applications where workers and their tools need to get up in the air to perform their work. It is also referred to as telescopic boomlifts.
type articulated boomlift
Type: Articulated Boomlift

Articulated boomliftsprovide the ease to get "up and over" obstacles so as to place personnel and their tools at specific work locations. The load capacities range from 300 lbs to 1000 lbs (UNC's articulated boomlift ranges from 500 lbs to 1000 lbs). Standard platform widths range from 4', 5', or 6' (University's is 8'). It can be powered by gas, gas/propane, diesel, or electric DC motors. Primary use involves industrial equipment maintenance, construction applications, warehousing and inventory storage, cleaning, etc.

employer s responsibilities
Employer’s Responsibilities

The employer is required to:

  • provide every employee with training;
  • maintain the boomlift in a safe operating condition;
  • purchase boomlifts that conform to ANSI and CSA standards.
boomlift operator s responsibilities
Boomlift Operator’s Responsibilities

The boomlift operator is:

  • Directly responsible for the safe operation of the lift at all times.
  • Required to complete a pre-shift inspection of the lift and immediately report any problems.
  • To ensure all personnel on the platform are wearing safety gear, as required, at all times.
  • Required to complete a workplace inspection prior to lift operation in order to check the work area for possible hazards and immediately report any problems.
required features
Required Features

Each Boomlift is required to have the following features:

  • Upper and lower controls
  • Platform that includes guard rail w/toeboard
  • A load capacity plate
  • Passive (automatic) brake which will hold the unit on any slope it is capable of climbing
  • An operator's manual
  • Emergency stop devices, located at the upper and lower control stations, which stop all powered functions that affect platform movement
parts overview
Parts Overview

It is imperative to know the correct parts of a boomlift. This is very crucial when reporting problems.

steering wheels and axle
Steering Wheels and Axle

The steering control for the boomlift is located at the upper controls. Always make certain you re-orient your platform position relative to the base. This means the steer and drive functions will operate in reverse when the unit's platform is not extended over the drive wheels.


There are three possible types of tires for the boomlift.

  • Pneumatic – tires filled with compressed air
  • Liquid Filled – tires filled with some kind of liquid compound instead of air
  • Monofilled – tires which are filled with a liquid compound that solidifies into a solid over time, usually from one to three days. The tires will not go flat, they are much heavier than air filled tires and add to the counter weight system of the boomlift.

If the tires have to be replaced, it must match the original in type, tread design, and filling. Any variation could cause loss of traction or loss of counterbalance which could result in loss of control of the boomlift.

counterweight system
Counterweight System

The counterweight system includes the counterweight itself, the turntable assembly (which includes all parts for the motor), the structural components (which make up the base frame), plus the tires and wheels.

The center of gravity of the counterweight system is utilized to counterbalance the center of gravity created by the load of the elevating assembly and platform assembly plus the workmen, their tools and equipment.

Simply put, the purpose of the counterweight assembly is to keep the boomlift in the upright position when the unit is operated according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Remember: all aerial work platforms are generally intended to be used on a flat level surface!

lower emergency controls
Lower (Emergency) Controls

The lower (emergency) controls must be accessible from the ground level. It is located on or near the base frame of the unit.

Review the operator's manual to identify the exact location. All of these controls will be of the type that automatically returns to the "off" or "neutral" position when released if they are used to control any movement of the lift. IMPORTANT NOTE: Lower controls can override the upper controls.

The Lower controls should only be used during the following conditions:

  • During pre-shift checkout of functions from the lower controls.
  • To override the upper controls to gain access in the event of an emergency. (upper controls will not work)
  • Only after you have been given permission to operate a function by the operator.
  • To override the upper controls to gain access in the event of an emergency. (upper controls will not work)
  • By a qualified mechanic during the process of performing necessary repairs and/or maintenance on the boomlift.
platform overview
Platform Overview

The platform section on the boomlift is equipped with many safety features such as guardrails (which will be covered under the fall protection section). Let's go over a few details concerning the platform.

platform section
Platform Section

The upper control station is located on the platform section. It is where all of the functional controls for the boomlift can be activated. During practical training, the controls will be reviewed in detail.

platform section con t
Platform Section, Con’t.

On the platform section is a deadman safety control footswitch. In order to activate any of the boomlift upper controls, the deadman safety control footswitch must be continually activated before the upper controls will function.

platform section con t1
Platform Section, Con’t.

Always consult the load chart indicators prior to your loading the platform to make sure you are operating the boomlift within its safe operating limits.

platform section con t2
Platform Section, Con’t.

Whenever a worker is on the platform section, he/she is to remain on the inside of the platform with their feet firmly planted as per manufacturer's instructions.

identify the boomlift parts
Identify the Boomlift Parts

It is very important to know the correct part names of a boomlift. Click on the numbers to check your answers.

operating procedures overview
Operating Procedures Overview

The following sections are important to understand before operating a boomlift.

  • Center of Gravity
  • Fulcrum Point
  • Rated Work Load, or Load Capacity Rating
  • Center of Gravity
  • Sideslope & Grade

We will review each item in more detail.

center of gravity
Center of Gravity

The center of gravity of an object is the point about which all forces of gravity are equal. As the boomlift is operated, the center of gravity on a boomlift changes position. Changes occur when the platform is moved in or out, up or down, forwards or backwards, and rotating left or right. Any inclined (sloping or graded) surface also affects the combined center of gravity.

fulcrum point
Fulcrum Point

The Boomlift works on the simple principle of loads balanced over a set of two wheels, the fulcrum. Depending on which set of tires the operator platform is set over, they become the fulcrum. The fulcrum point changes as the platform is elevating and swinging into position.

fulcrum point on articulated booms
Fulcrum Point on Articulated Booms

As you raise, lower, extend, swing, or activate any boom function the fulcrum point, as well as the center of gravity changes as the platform changes its position. Sometimes this change is little and sometimes the change is a lot. The important issue for you to understand and always keep in mind as you operate the boomlift, is that all of the inter-related boomlift forces are always changing.

fulcrum point example
Fulcrum Point Example

Another example of the change in fulcrum point.

rated work load or load capacity rating
Rated Work Load or Load Capacity Rating

Maximum allowable weight load includes personnel, their tools and their materials.

As long as you are (1) within the unrestricted load capacity limits, (2) are operating on level ground that will support the units weight and (3) you employ any necessary safety devices you can operate the lift at any height safely.

Unrestricted rated work load capacity decals will always be located at each entrance into the platform and at the operator control stations. You should always verify these decals are in place during your pre-shift inspection.

LOAD CAPACITY – is a specific load carried at a specific distance from the fulcrum wheels and spread evenly over the operator platform.

UNRESTRICTED LOAD CAPACITY – is the maximum allowable weight load allowed in and spread evenly, over the operator platform.

multiple ratings
Multiple Ratings

Some boomlifts have multiple ratings. On the PLATFORM ELEVATING ASSEMBLY, the multiple rating chart will show the alternative configurations of elevating assembly retracted versus extended; and elevated versus lowered.

ALTERNATIVE RATED WORK LOADS: when the rated work load of the varying configuration depends on the location of the platform in relation to the base, the manufacturer shall display the appropriate related work load of the configuration of the operator at the control station.

sideslope and grade
Sideslope and Grade

Boomlifts are generally intended to be used on a flat level surface. The Owner's Manual will tell you the limits which will affect the operation of your unit.

Driving on a 15% grade to get to the worksite is acceptable but the boomlift should be operated on a flat level surface. When traveling over a long distance it is advisable to lock the turntable (if the boomlift is equipped with one, the University's is not equipped with this device), keep the boom mast retracted and keep the operator platform at or below the horizontal position with the ground. Do not drive the boomlift on grades or sideslopes exceeding those specified on caution placards or indicated in the Operator's Manual.

safe operating practices overview
Safe Operating Practices Overview

The operation of any boomlift is subject to certain hazards that can only be protected against by the intelligence, care, and common sense of the operator.

overhead hazards
Overhead Hazards
  • ASSUME all electrical parts and wiring are ENGERGIZED unless known otherwise.
  • Avoid contact with 0 to 300V
  • Over 300V to 50KV the Minimum Safe Approach Distance is 10 feet. The distance increases as the voltage increases.
  • Trees
operating practices dos
Operating Practices Dos
  • Do limit travel speed according to conditions of ground surface, congestion of the worksite, visibility, slope, grade, location of personnel, or any other factors causing hazards of collision or injury to personnel.
  • Do maintain a clear view of the path of travel when elevated.
  • Do maintain a safe distance from overhead obstacles when elevated.
  • Do maintain a safe distance from obstacles, debris, drop-offs, holes, depressions, ramps, and other possible hazards when elevated.
  • Do shutdown and cease operation of the lift in the case of any suspected malfunction(s) of the unit, or of any potentially hazardous conditions(s), or hazardous (environment) location(s) which may be encountered. Report the potential problem(s) to the appropriate people and make sure any problem(s) have been corrected before proceeding.
  • Do ensure the outriggers, stabilizers, extendible axles, or other stability enhancing safety devices are used as required by the manufacturer of the lift.
  • Do make sure all personnel maintain a firm footing on the platform floor while working from the platform and wear appropriate PPE.
  • Do use special precautions when other equipment and/or vehicles are present. Warnings such as, but not limited to, flags, roped-off areas, flashing lights, and barricades shall be used.
  • Do take care to prevent rope, electric cords and hoses from becoming entangled in the boomlift.
  • Do cease operations if the platform or elevating assembly becomes caught, snagged or otherwise prevented from normal motion by an adjacent structure or other obstacles such that control reversal does not free the platform. All personnel shall be removed from the platform before attempts are made to free the platform using ground controls.
operating practices don ts
Operating Practices Don’ts
  • Don't stunt drive or horseplay.
  • Don't use planks, ladders or any other device on the boomlift platform to achieve any additional height or reach.
  • Don't alter or disable any interlock or other safety device.
  • Don't position the boomlift against another object to "steady" the platform. Don't use the boomlift as a crane.
  • Don't operate the boomlift from a position on trucks, trailers, railway cars, floating vessels, scaffold, or similar equipment unless the application is approved in writing by the manufacturer.
  • Don't alter or modify the boomlift unless you have written permission to do so by the manufacturer.
remember when refueling
Remember When Refueling

Here are a few things to remember when refueling the boomlift:

  • Never fill the fuel tank of a lift with the engine running.
  • Never smoke or have the lift near an open flame when filling the fuel tank.
  • Be sure to use the correct type and grade of fuel.
  • Never mistakenly put fuel into the hydraulic tank.
  • Ground the fuel funnel or nozzle against the filler neck to prevent sparks.
  • Be sure to replace the fuel tank cap.
fall protection when and why
Fall Protection: When and Why

Fall protection is required due to the potential for being bounced out of lift or from climbing out of the basket. A harness is required to be worn when on the platform you must be and be tied off at all times. Remember to inspect the harness prior to use!

tie off points on platform
Tie-Off Points on Platform

Safety lanyard tie-off ring is usually located in the area close to the operator control station. There are 3 on the University's lift.

guardrails on the platform section
Guardrails on the Platform Section
  • Guardrails are another type of fall protection. Guardrails are not to be used as a ladder, by standing on them in order to gain greater height.
  • The purpose of the toeboards is to keep loose debris, tools or materials from falling off of the platform to the ground.
  • It is the operator's responsibility to make sure all personnel in the platform are wearing fall protection devices and that their lanyards are securely fastened to the tie-off ring.
osha required inspection
OSHA-Required Inspection

OSHA requires that boomlifts be inspected.

  • Boomlift Pre-Shift Inspection Report
    • At the start up
    • When the boomlift is out of your sight
  • Workplace Pre-Shift Inspection Report
    • Before you move the boomlift into the area
    • At the start of work
    • Anytime you are away from the lift
  • Copies must be kept on file
  • New sheet for each time checked

These reports will be gone over in detail during the Practical Training portion.

instructional portion conclusion
Instructional Portion Conclusion

You have just completed the instructional portion of the boomlift training. In order to receive credit, you must complete the post test.

For the practical portion of this course, please contact Mike Proctor at 962-5083 to schedule your training. Once both portions of the boomlift training are completed, EHS will mail you an operators' license. If you have any questions regarding this training or any safety and health issue, please contact EHS at (919) 962-5507. In order to receive credit for this training, you much complete the post test.