Scott Owyen - Director of Training
Feb 23, 2017, 03:00 AM
Follow Special Precautions to Exit a Boom Platform at Height
Articulated and telescopic booms are designed to allow operators to work at varying heights while remaining inside the platform. According to the Genie Operator’s Manual for booms, the operator should never enter or exit the platform unless the machine is in the stowed position and the platform is at ground level.
With that said, there are certain applications where it becomes necessary for the operator to exit an elevated boom platform in order to complete a task. OSHA and ANSI require an operator to be authorized in writing by the manufacturer before exiting a boom platform at height, and Genie has developed an authorization letter that covers the process operators must follow for just such a need.
Before performing any operation that requires the operator to exit an elevated boom platform, make sure he/she is preauthorized from the equipment manufacturer to do so. With Genie equipment, this comes in the form of our Exiting Elevated Boom Platform letter.
This letter outlines owner, employer, user and operator responsibilities for exiting at height as well as detailing requirements for 100% tie-off and personal fall protection requirements. A copy of the authorization letter must be kept in the weather resistant storage compartment located on the equipment at all times.
First and foremost, when an operator is on a project that requires exiting a platform at height, as with any boom application, he/she must be trained and qualified on how to safely operate the equipment and be familiar with that specific model. In addition to complying with all local, state, provincial or federal standards, the worker must operate the boom in accordance with the restrictions outlined in the authorization letter.
An approved full body harness and appropriate lanyard must be worn at all times while working inside or exiting the platform. If a self-extracting lifeline/lanyard is used, it cannot allow more than 6 ft (1.8 m) of free fall. Also, workers MUST enter or exit the platform only through the sliding mid-rail entry or gate provided and should never climb over the platform guardrails.
When positioning the machine for entry/exit, the platform should be situated within 12 in (304.8 mm) of the surface, and workers should not enter/exit the elevated platform in winds exceeding 20 mph (32.2 km/h). The operator must ensure 100% tie-off when entering/exiting the platform.
To ensure 100% tie-off, the operator’s primary lanyard must remain attached to the platform lanyard attachment point before exiting and attaching his/her secondary lanyard to the approved attachment point on the adjacent structure. Only then may the operator detach his/her primary lanyard from the platform. When returning to the platform, the operator must attach the primary lanyard to the platform anchor point before detaching the secondary lanyard from the adjacent structure.
The Genie guidance letter also allows the boom to be used as a fall restraint device. This enables operators to exit the platform to perform work on structures, as long as the pitch is no greater than 4:12 (18°), while using the boom platform as a tie-off anchor. For this application, the platform must be positioned a minimum of 4 ft (1.2 m) from the leading edge of the structure. Also, a person trained in the operation of the Genie boom must remain on the ground near the machine base controls to prevent unauthorized use and to prevent the machine from being used.
The bottom line for when the need arises to exit a boom platform at height, do so by following all the safety protocols. Always maintain 100% tie-off and only enter/exit the platform through the mid-rail entry or gate, never by climbing over the rail. And by all means, get the preauthorization letter from Genie and keep it on the equipment at all times.
Rental distributors interested in obtaining a copy of the letter: please contact your Genie sales representative or Genie Product Support with your request. For contractors requesting a copy of the letter, please contact your local Genie rental distributor via the Dealer Locator: https://www.genielift.com/en/find-a-dealer.