Whether you are stuck at home or trying to go away for a vacation, summertime is also a time for bad weather. Hurricanes, thunderstorms, and derechos can keep utility equipment operators busy no matter what is going on. Staying safe means never skipping your daily pre-operations check or knowing where the manual is … and much more.
Everyone knows that bucket truck operators are busy for days and have lots work to do after storms — repairing wires, fixing traffic lights, and trimming downed trees/limbs. There are two important pieces to staying safe on the job — having the right equipment, and knowing the proper procedures to act safely in an emergency.
- Make sure that your cables and tow/winch ropes are in good shape. Look for tears and fraying on the cables. Check your terminators to be sure hooks and connection points are sound. Replace as needed or as part of regularly scheduled maintenance.
- Have a good supply of safety alert equipment on hand, like cones and flares.
- Have backup bulbs for your vehicle’s lights, and if needed, emergency lights just in case you have to be out in the dark during a storm or a low-visibility situation.
- You should have a good First Aid kit. Band aids are great, but having a heavy duty first aid kit for more serious injuries should be a part of any truck’s equipment.
- Have outrigger pads available, to help stabilize the truck on unstable or uneven ground.
Training and Procedures
Most companies are more than just one-man operations. Having safety and emergency procedures that everyone knows and follows make the job safer for everyone. There are many OSHA-approved training courses on the web, handling the many safety issues that folks operating a bucket truck or digger derrick should know about including:
- What a pre-operations safety check for a bucket truck or digger derrick looks like.
- Selecting and maintaining a safe work area whether you are on the road or “dry land”
- What PPE (personal protective equipment) you and your crew should use
- How to secure the bucket truck or digger derrick rig when it is being moved.
- Equipment limits for load or drilling
- Emergency escape and shutdown procedures
If you need to find a safety course, you can Google “bucket truck training.” Don’t forget to check the course reviews and make sure the course is certified by OSHA. There are a number of PDF’s available for download. We suggest you review one at your next company meeting. If you need safety equipment for your bucket truck or digger derrick, give us a call and we will help you out!
Be and Stay Safe!
The UEP Guys