Elevated Work Surfaces

Aerial Lifts

  • Only trained employees may operate aerial lift devices (boom platforms).
  • Test lift controls on boom trucks each day prior to use.
  • When working from an aerial lift, a harness must be worn and a lanyard attached to the boom or basket. Belting off to an adjacent pole, structure, or equipment is NOT permitted.
  • Do not sit or climb on the edge of the aerial lift basket.
  • Set brakes on boom trucks. When using outriggers, position on pads or on a solid surface.
  • Don't move an occupied aerial lift truck with the boom elevated in a working position unless the equipment is specifically designed for such work.
  • Any aerial lift vehicles exposed to traffic will have clearly visible flashing warning lights operating during use.
  • Do not operate aerial lift devices with any portion of the lift less than 10 feet from live overhead electric power lines.


  • Ladders can easily become unstable when not set up or used properly.
  • When working on or near electrical circuits, power lines, or live electrical apparatus, use a non-conductive ladder.
  • When using a ladder in front of doors that open towards the ladder, make sure the door is blocked, locked, or guarded.
  • Always take ladders out of service that have broken or missing steps, rungs, cleats, or rails.
  • When climbing up and down, face the ladder and grasp the side rails or rungs with both hands.
  • Avoid carrying heavy loads up or down ladders; use hoisting equipment instead. Instead of reaching off center, take time to move the ladder closer to the work. Do not straddle the space between the ladder and another object.

Portable Stepladders

  • Should be no longer than 20 feet. Ladders come in three grades:
    • I (industrial), 3 to 20 feet long, for heavy duty work.
    • II (commercial), 3 to 12 feet, for medium duty work.
    • III (household), 3 to 6 feet, for light duty work.
  • Must have a spreader or locking device to securely hold the front and back sections in the open position. Before use, see that stepladders are open all the way and locked into safe position.
  • Should have insulating non-slip material supplied on the bottom of the rails.
  • Should not be used while standing on the top plate or second step from top.
  • Must not be used with planks on top.

Portable Rung Ladders

  • May not be more than 30 feet long (single section) or more than 60 feet long (double section).
  • Should be placed so the distance from the wall to the foot of the ladder is one/fourth the length of the ladder. Set the ladder at an angle of about 75 degrees with the ground.
  • Are to be placed to prevent slipping, or they must be lashed in position. Do not place ladders on boxes, barrels, or other unstable bases, or lean ladders against movable objects.
  • Used to gain access to a roof should extend at least 3 feet above the point of support at eave, gutter, or roofline.
  • Should never be used from the top rung or the second rung from the top.