Aerial lifts are vehicle-mounted, boom-supported aerial platforms, such as cherry pickers or bucket trucks, used to access utility lines and other above-ground job sites.

OSHA’s standard 29 CFR 1926.453 for aerial lifts incorporates the American National Standard Institute’s (ANSI) A92.2-1969 standard aerial lift definition. The ANSI standard definition for vehicle-mounted elevating and rotating work platforms includes extensible boom platforms, aerial ladders, articulating boom platforms, vertical towers, or a combination of these. Scissor lifts, including those with platforms that extend beyond the equipment’s wheelbase, do not fall within these categories and are therefore not addressed by the aerial lift provisions of Subpart L of OSHA’s aerial lift standard.

Why is Aerial Lift Safety Important?

An average of 26 construction workers die each year from using aerial lifts, accounting for two to three percent of all construction deaths. The major fatality causes are falls, electrocutions, and collapses or tip-overs. Boom lifts account for almost 70 percent of aerial lift deaths.

Training Requirements

Train employees on the make and model of aerial lifts they will be using. If your company has multiple makes and models, train employees on each one. Employees should:

  • Understand the potential electrical, fall, struck-by, and falling object hazards.
  • Know the procedures for dealing with hazards.
  • Recognize and avoid unsafe conditions in the workplace.
  • Know how to correctly operate the lift, including maximum intended load and load capacity.
  • Demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed to operate an aerial lift before operating it on the job.
  • Know when and how to perform inspections.
  • Know the manufacturer’s requirements.


Workers should be retrained if any of the following conditions occur:

  • An incident occurs during aerial lift use
  • Workplace hazards involving an aerial lift are discovered
  • A different type of aerial lift is used
  • An employee is observed operating an aerial lift improperly.


JLG has issued this JLG Boom Lift Field Service Bulletin for anyone owning or operating certain JLG boom lifts. JLG advises inspecting lifts to ensure the extend wire ropes are properly installed on JLG boom lift models 600S, 600SJ, 600SC, and 660SJC. Improperly installed extend wire ropes may cause premature wire rope failure, which can result in an uncontrolled boom retraction.

Our safety consultants are available to assist with aerial lift training, developing programs, or performing safety audits at your facility or worksite. Please contact Kelly Kramer, CECD, HEM, at 800.738.8395 for more information.

Additional Offerings

Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.